Coming into this weekend, many people would have been predicting a Super Bowl that would include the New Orleans Saints taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. That still might happen, sure, but we got a preview of what could be to come on Sunday when the two- both of which were hopeful of winning their respective conference’s top seeds- clashed in the Big Easy. It wasn’t a stroll by any means, but the defending champions handled their hosts, taking a 32-29 victory that will have a profound impact on both races for the #1 spot (and the bye that comes with it). Pat Mahomes was his usual self, or close to it anyway, throwing for 254 yards and three touchdowns. He accomplished it with a long of creativity, with plenty of tricks coming out, such as side-arm tosses and even a basketball push-pass.
It was their ninth win in a row and sees them improve their record up to 13-1 on the season, a game up on the Steelers in the AFC and two wins away from guaranteeing the #1 seed. The loss, which knocked the Saints down to 10-4, also is huge for the Saints as it means they fall even further behind Green Bay in the race for the NFC’s #1 seed. They will now need to win their next two AND hope the Packers lose their last two in order to take that away from their rivals. Elsewhere, the Atlanta Falcons once again figured out a way to take defeat from the jaws of victory. Tom Brady led the charge, this time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as they came back a 17-0 and 24-7 deficit to win 31-27. Brady racked up nearly 400 yards passing here, helping Tampa to go to 9-5. Another big result occurred the New York Jets won 23-20 over the LA Rams. That now has them tied with Jacksonville for the worst record, meaning the race to get Trevor Lawrence is back up in the air again.