Make no mistake, Chiefs vs Saints is THE game of this week. The Chiefs are 12-1 and will be facing an excellent New Orleans defense. The Saints are 10-3 on the season but lost their last game to the Philadelphia Eagles, who are not very good. This makes them an extremely hungry opponent, one that cannot be taken for granted. The Eagles started last game with a new quarterback, Jalen Hurts, who they drafted in the 2020 NFL draft. The now 4-8-1 Eagles were up by 17 points at the halfway mark and while the Saints almost made a comeback, they were not able to pull it off. If New Orleans plays defense for the whole game the way it played during the second half of the Philadelphia game, this will end up being an extremely close contest.
What Makes This New Orleans Defense So Good?
The Saints’ defense has weapons at every position. They are a force to be reckoned with and can potentially give the Chiefs problems. When looking at the Chiefs’ most recent win over the Miami Dolphins, Patrick Mahomes and company struggled at times.
This Saints defense is close to being as good as the Dolphins’ is, and can potentially stop one of the best offenses the NFL has ever seen in Kansas City. New Orleans boasts one of the best run defenses in the league and mainly gets it done with their front four. That leaves seven players to hang back in the secondary and/or send as a blitzer.
Here are three players on the New Orleans’ defense that the Chiefs should watch out for in their upcoming matchup.
Chiefs vs Saints key defensive players
Trey Hendrickson is a player that many NFL fans may not know. However, he is one of the best pass rushers in the league, and his numbers speak for themselves.
Hendrickson has not played more than 70% of the defense of snaps in a game this season, yet he is still producing great numbers. He leads the Saints’ defense in sacks on the season with 10.5. That is third in the league in total sacks behind only Aaron Donald and TJ Watt, putting him in some very impressive company.
Hendrickson is a key player in the Chiefs vs Saints game because he is a big part of the New Orleans’ second-best in the NFL run defense in terms of pressure rate (41.1%). Kansas City’s offensive line will need to step it up on Sunday if they want to win the game.
Demario Davis is an absolute stud on this Saints defense and is not slowing down anytime soon. The 31-year-old linebacker out of Arkansas State is having a great season with the Saints and will likely look to keep that going against the Chiefs.
In a way, Davis is the engine of this Saints defense, as everything runs through him. His ability to recognize play and route concepts is impressive. Not to mention his excellent run defense, leading the way as New Orleans has allowed only 3.7 yards per carry.
In week 13, Davis earned an overall grade of nearly 90 by Pro Football Focus. On their rating scale, a 90 is elite, which is the perfect word to describe Davis. As if that rating was not good enough, Davis has also averaged a 92.6 overall score for the last four games.
The 32-year-old vet from Florida is one of the leaders of this strong Saints secondary. Most people know about him but may not know exactly how good he is or has been this season.
Jenkins has three interceptions on the year, which is not amazing. However, he does lead the team in pass deflections (10). After the Chiefs’ four turnovers last week, Jenkins will need to be a player they shy away from.
He has the speed to match up with the extremely fast receivers that Kansas City has on the outside and can also stop the run. In fact, he has posted above-average grades in both coverage (72.5) and run support (76.5) for the year. Whoever he is matched up against, it should be a battle to watch all game.
Thanks for reading my article on the Chiefs vs Saints upcoming week 15 matchup.
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