Brees returns as Saints gear up to take on reigning Superbowl Champs Kansas City Chiefs
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A rite of December in the NFL, along with Christmas, Hanukkah and meaningless games for the Jets, Bengals and Lions, is the release of playoff scenarios.
Those scenarios become less complicated as the league gets deeper into the month. Suffice to note that eight of the top teams can clinch something this weekend.
The real spotlight, of course, is on two of the clubs already headed to the playoffs: defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City (12-1) at New Orleans (10-3).
Kansas City owns the AFC West crown and clinches the top seed and bye in the AFC with a victory plus losses by Pittsburgh and Buffalo. With only one bye for this season’s playoffs, that’s huge.
New Orleans takes the NFC South with a win or a Buccaneers loss. The race for the No. 1 conference seed is tight, with the Packers one game ahead of the Saints, the Rams and Seahawks one game behind.
Drew Brees will be active after missing four games with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, making for an intriguing matchup with Patrick Mahomes.
“You want to play against those great quarterbacks that you watched growing up that were kind of guys that you looked up to and the way they played the game,” Mahomes said before the Saints announced Brees’ return on Friday.
Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is one player to watch. He is tied for the NFL lead in touchdowns receiving with 14.
Meanwhile, Brees will be without star wide receiver Michael Thomas, who has had a rough season after winning the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year award. He was ruled out for the game with an ankle injury. Thomas had been coming on following several injuries, with two games in which he eclipsed 100 yards receiving in the past four — with Taysom Hill at quarterback.
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