2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 15 Game Analysis: Chiefs 32, Saints 29 (Short Report)
I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I normally write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I must move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
SHORT REPORT is an attempt at ‘just the facts’ report on this Week 15 game with a Week 16/title week focus for conveying what we need to know.
If I could only tell you one thing about this game, it would be the following, and with urgency I’d want to convey it: That was probably the single worst game of QB play that I have seen in 2020…from Drew Brees. And I’ve seen all of Tua’s and Dwayne Haskins’s starts. Maybe the Kendall Hinton COVID start for Denver was worse, but Hinton didn’t technically start that game.
Everyone who is bellyaching about Ben Roethlisberger being done/shot after this week’s games…Ben looked 10x better than Brees did. Was it the rib injury? I’m sure, but why did they force him back into action looking so terrible? Seriously, no joke, he should have thrown a minimum six interceptions in that game. I’ve never seen more passes land 5-10 yards short of their target in one game more than this one from Brees. Brees was throwing the football like they secretly put cement inside of it for all the Saints’ offensive series.
How anyone could bet on the Saints this week, laying -7.0 to Minnesota, with confidence…good luck. You’re about to see a Christmas turkey on live television unless Brees is magically 100% healed from his 132 broken ribs in the past week.
If I could tell you a second thing from this game, it would be that the Kansas City Chiefs cannot be the top team in the NFL. They are the sloppiest top team in the NFL…and I just watched the Rams and Steelers play this same week (well, maybe the Buccaneers should have that honor over the Chiefs). The Chiefs are talented but so arrogant – dropped picks on defense, missed tackles, a crap run game with CEH/Bell, the O-Line is a problem, and Mahomes throwing dangerous passes under duress. The Chiefs are secretly starting to corrupt/fade to the finish (from A+ to just A-/B+). They are the decade ago Green Bay Packers – hey, we got Aaron Rodgers so we can play like crap but win a lot of games…just not making multiple Super Bowl appearances as you think we would.
Drew Brees (speaking of good but never getting back to the Super Bowl for a decade+…4-6 record in the past 11 seasons in the playoffs since their Super Bowl win) almost went the 1st-half without completing a pass, and yet the score was only 14-9 KC at the half. The Saints, as piss poor as they played on offense…they took the lead 15-14 to open the 3rd-quarter. That’s when KC wakes up…when their sloppiness has them down, then they snap into some focus temporarily. KC took the lead back and went up by 14 to start the 4th-quarter…and then let the Saints right back in it…dead arm Brees and all. The Saints closed it to 32-29 but couldn’t get the ball back the final two minutes and they fell short.
The Chiefs are going to get the #1 seed, but I think someone is going to knock them off before they reach the Super Bowl…they might even lose in their first playoff game. They are just so sloppy/undisciplined/arrogant/filled with holes to expose (for a top team), but with Mahomes…anything is possible.
The Saints…they might get the #1 seed, but I don’t know how they can with Brees’s arm/mind in the shape it is in. The Brees I saw in this game is not going to win out…although they have MIN and CAR to the finish, no major tests – but I could see them losing both games. The Saints defense might carry them through, but still not a #1 seed (GB should get that).
WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW FOR WEEK 16?
-- Clyde Edwards-Helaire is done for the regular season, so not-anything-like-he-used-to-be-no-matter-how-hard-KC-and-the-media-try-to-sell-us-on-it Le’Veon Bell (15-62-1, 1-14-0/1) is now the de facto starter the ROS.
It will be Bell, not Darrell Williams (3-5-0) because the Chiefs can cruise to the AFC #1 seed regardless of having any RB active at all. Beat the Falcons this week, done. So, the best thing KC could do is keep Le’Veon working and get him ready if he has to start in the 1st-round of the playoffs and beyond.
I expect Le’Veon to be the full starter but come off the field on 3rd-downs and two-minute drills…which says a lot about what they think of Bell anymore – they trust Darrell Williams more, like the Packers trust Jamaal Williams more than Aaron Jones to do dirty work.
Le’Veon starts with two conflicting ways to project him: (1) Nice matchup with dying Atlanta. (2) Has any Chiefs RB really exploded for FF this year outside of like 2 games? Even this game…Bell got a TD but I’m supposed to get excited about 15 carries for 62 yards and one target?
Bell is an RB2 with RB3 risk, but RB1 potential if he gets a TD. Before this game, KC RBs had 6 TDs in 13 games. They now have 7 TDs in 14 games…a 50-50 shot a KC RB will score a TD. It’s better than nothing.
-- Did I mention how terrible Drew Brees (15-34 for 234 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) looked? But he had 3 TDs…am I using too much hyperbole?
Here were his three ‘passing TDs’…
1) Screen pass to Latavius Murray, and then Murray ran 24 yards for a TD.
2) That play that’s a pass but not really – a shotgun snap, QB quick dumps/pitches it to the man in motion in front of him play that counts as a ‘pass’…one of those to AK, who then ran 10+ yards and broke 10+ tackles to sneak in.
3) Final drive, desperation throw…a balloon to the end zone that was so off the mark the defender couldn’t adjust to it but the WR saw it early and adjusted and leapt up for the end zone grab. A 17-yard throw is now a Hail Mary for Brees.
The small ball game should be good for Alvin Kamara this week…in theory. The Saints have to adjust the game plan to the Brees issue, assuming it’s still an issue.
-- I would think the glaring issue would also mean Taysom Hill (2-3-1, 0-0-0/2) is going to be at QB more, especially near the goal line…like exclusively in at the goal line. But he barely was involved here (10 snaps) as the Saints offense swirled down the drain…so, don’t assume it too hard.
ANY 2021 FUTURE THOUGHTS (Dynasty Offseason or Stash Items):
-- Lil’Jordan Humphrey (2-29-1/4) caught the TD pass/17-yard Hail Mary from Brees…it’s not a sign of good things for Week 16 or 2021+. It was just a one-off moment of luck/he happened to be on the field.
With Brees back in 2021, or switching to Taysom – Tre’Quan Smith, Lil’Jordan, Juwan Johnson (0-0-0/4) are all meaningless, as #2-3 WRs are in the Saints offense for years now.
-- Saints DT Shy Tuttle (5 tackles, 1 PD) has 5.5 tackles per game the past two games as he has become a ‘starter’. He still only plays 50% of the snaps, but his numbers are creeping up of late if anyone plays deep IDP with DT as a specific spot to start someone.
-- Trey Hendrickson (2 tackles, 2 sacks) didn’t make the Pro Bowl. I see him listed on Pro Bowl ‘snubs’ articles. I don’t know if he should’ve made it because I care about the Pro Bowl as much as the amount of times that I’ve watched A Christmas Story in the past 25 years…zero.
However, Hendrickson has 12.5 sacks and 24 QB hits this season…that’s pretty darn good!
SNAP COUNTS OF INTEREST:
40 = Kamara
16 = Latavius
32 = Cook
21 = Trautman
10 = Taysom
45 = CEH
31 = Bell
22 = D Williams