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Mahomes Leads Chiefs Vs. Saints Coach Who Nearly Drafted Him

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NEW ORLEANS: Saints coach Sean Payton significantly thought-about drafting Patrick Mahomes in 2017.

But the Saints have been slated to choose 11th general and Kansas City traded as much as snag Mahomes at decide No. 10.

Record-setting quarterback Drew Brees was 38 years outdated then, however had no intention of retiring. And because it turned out, the Saints wound up with one of many best drafts in franchise historical past that 12 months anyway.

It started with the 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, wholl get his first likelihood to see how he fares towards Mahomes and Co. on Sunday when the Saints (10-3) host the defending NFL champion Chiefs (12-1) in a possible Super Bowl preview.

Everything labored out for one of the best, Lattimore stated. Hes over there doing his factor. Im over right here doing my factor. So, everyone gained.

And yeah, Im excited to play him as a result of hes one of many nice up-and-coming quarterbacks, Lattimore continued. So our sport goes to be manner up, and have been going to be prepared for him.

With assist from playmakers similar to receiver Tyreek Hill and tight finish Travis Kelce, Mahomes leads the NFL in yards passing with 4,208 and has his group in pole place to defend its Super Bowl title.

To be that younger and to be as gifted as he’s is uncommon, Chiefs coach Andy Reid stated of Mahomes. For him to have excelled the best way he has is an actual tribute to the child and the genes that his mother and father gave him, too, is a part of it and the way exhausting he works.

The Chiefs have one of the best file within the AFC. But making certain that it stays that manner one other week requires a victory towards a contending Saints squad trying to bounce again from a surprising loss in Philadelphia. The Saints can win the NFC South for a fourth straight season with a victory (or a Tampa Bay loss).

Its going to be an important battle, Lattimore stated. I really feel like have been stacked, identical to theyre stacked. So, have been going to go on the market and play and one of the best man wins.

QUARTERBACK OPTIONS

The Saints added intrigue to their quarterback scenario this week by designating Brees eligible to return from injured reserve. Brees has missed 4 video games since a sack towards San Francisco left him with a number of rib fractures and a punctured lung.

Taysom Hill has began in Brees place, going 3-1.

The Chiefs have been pressured to organize for each QBs.

No query theyre completely different, stated Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who in 2012 held the identical place in New Orleans. Youre speaking a few future Hall of Famer (in Brees) and a man (in Hill) thats enjoying actually good soccer that offers us the added risk of operating the ball.

We must defend the scheme, Spagnuolo continued. They do very well with whoever they put again there. Theres plenty of different weapons there moreover the man that will get the ball on the snap.

PAT IN BLACK

Payton has stated Mahomes and Lattimore have been the 2 prospects left into account for New Orleans at No. 11 within the 2017 draft when the Chiefs traded up and made the choice simple.

Mahomes recalled having a great exercise for the Saints, however I didnt sense they have been going to choose me with Drew nonetheless there. … They bought an important participant with Marshon, so Im certain theyre nonetheless proud of that.

Not to say the remainder of that draft class.

The Saints picked present beginning proper deal with Ryan Ramczyk later within the first spherical and present beginning security Marcus Williams within the second. They traded as much as take 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara within the third spherical the identical spherical additionally they drafted defensive finish Trey Hendrickson, who this season has blossomed into one of many NFLs sack leaders.

CATCHING KELCE

Chiefs tight finish Travis Kelce has an opportunity to obliterate information over the last three regular-season video games. He wants 128 yards receiving to interrupt George Kittles file (1,377) for a good finish, and will turn into the primary tight finish in league historical past to steer the NFL in yards receiving. His 26th sport of 100 yards or extra would match Tony Gonzalez for essentially the most in Chiefs historical past. He wants 10 catches to turn into the primary tight finish in NFL historical past with a number of 100-catch seasons.

If you take a look at historical past, take a look at the seasons tight ends have had, hes had top-of-the-line, Mahomes stated. Then you watch the best way he blocks for teammates, its really been a particular season.

LOCAL FLAVOR

Chiefs operating again Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a Louisiana native who’s getting ready to play within the Superdome for the second time in lower than a 12 months. Last January, he helped LSU beat Clemson for the nationwide title and the Saints brass was watching.

He was somebody that we actually appreciated, Payton stated. I like how hes constructed. You really feel a sturdiness.”

Edwards-Helaire leads the Chiefs with 724 yards and 4 TDs speeding to go together with 293 yards and a rating receiving.

He simply does so many issues nicely, Payton stated. That was an important decide.

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AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri, contributed.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL



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