Chiefs, Saints ready for possible Super Bowl preview

LEFT: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) RIGHT: Quarterback Taysom Hill #7 o

There are certain games on the schedule that get a big red mark around them for importance. And when the NFL put out its slate of games back in May, the late December matchup between the defending Super Bowl champions and a consistent NFC power with the Hall of Fame quarterback was clearly one of them.

A lot of things have changed between then and now. Still, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs heading to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday (4:25 p.m., CBS) has remained a constant source of Super Bowl intrigue.

Kansas City (12-1) grabbed the top spot in the AFC last week with a win over Miami and Pittsburgh’s loss in Buffalo. New Orleans (10-3) - playing without Drew Brees’ for the fourth straight week- dropped out of the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia.

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The sports betting information

On Sportsbook, the Chiefs are 3 point favorites on Sunday with a money line of minus-175. (A $175 bet is needed to win $100.) The Saints are at +150 on the money line. (A $100 bet would win you $150.) The over/under number is 51 1/2 points.

Against the spread, New Orleans is 7-6 while Kansas City is 6-7. The Saints’ have gone over the total number eight times in 13 games while Kansas City games have gone over six times in 13 contests.

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The history

The Saints and Chiefs only get together every four seasons, so the sample size is small. Still, Kansas City leads the series, 6-5. The Chiefs won the last game between the two back in 2016 with Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith passing for 214 yards and two touchdowns during a 27-21 victory at Arrowhead Stadium.

If Brees does play – more on that later- this will be the first and likely only regular season meeting between himself and Mahomes.

The storylines to watch

The main question this week for the Saints will be if Brees – still recovering from multiple rib fractures suffered back in Week 10 against the 49ers- will be back in the lineup for New Orleans. He returned to practice this week, but head coach Sean Payton said that the Saints would not rush Brees’ return. That could mean more Taysom Hill, who was shaky at times in the 24-21 loss to the Eagles. Hill did throw for 291 yards and two touchdowns but threw one critical interception that set up a Philadelphia score. The Saints trail the Packers by one game for home field advantage and the only first round bye in the NFC. Green Bay also holds a head to head tiebreaker against New Orleans. In other words, the Saints have to win out to give themselves a chance to never leave the Superdome.

Kansas City hasn’t looked great in recent weeks, but they keep on winning. Mahomes threw three interceptions last week during a 33-27 victory in Miami. Still, Mahomes threw for 393 yards and two scores while the Chiefs offense found ways to get Tyreek Hill the ball in space and watch him go. Hill had one rushing and one receiving score. This is the Chiefs’ fourth road game in five weeks – all of them against potential playoff teams (Oakland, Tampa Bay, Miami and New Orleans.) Kansas City has won the previous three.

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