The Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) defeated the New Orleans Saints (2-4), 27-21, at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday to improve to 4-2 on the season.
Cornerback Steve Nelson led the Chiefs with nine tackles (8 solo) and had two key late fourth-quarter tackles as time ran out on the Saints, clinching the victory.
The Saints struck first on a drive largely featuring quarterback Drew Brees and the passing game. Brees completed five passes to three different receivers for a total of 61 yards on the drive, capping it off with a 9-yard touchdown to wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a 7-0 lead.
The Chiefs answered rather quickly. Facing third-and-7 on the Kansas City 28-yard line, QB Alex Smith hit WR Jeremy Maclin for an 8-yard gain. An 18-yard rush by WR Tyreek Hill brought the Chiefs into New Orleans territory, and a 46-yard touchdown pass from Smith to running back Spencer Ware tied the game at 7 with a little more than four minutes left in the first quarter.
The Saints faced third-and-12 at their own 39-yard line on their next possession and on a pass intended for WR Willie Snead, safety Eric Berry deflected the ball in the air and into the hands of S Daniel Sorensen, who returned it 48 yard for a Kansas City touchdown and the first of his career.
The Chiefs added to their lead in the second quarter on a first-down play at the New Orleans 38-yard line. Hill ran deep down the left sideline, and Smith aired it out for him. Hill jumped up, beat Saints CB Ken Crawley and made a one-handed catch for the score to make it 21-7 headed into halftime.
The Saints came out in the second half with purpose.
Staring at their own 25-yard line, Brees orchestrated a 14-play drive, which included five first downs. On the Kansas City 3-yard line facing third-and-goal, Brees passed it short to RB Mark Ingram, who ran it into the end zone for a touchdown.
A 39-yard field goal by kicker Cairo Santos on the ensuing possession made it 24-14 Chiefs.
The Chiefs had a key defensive play in the middle of the fourth quarter. Driving deep in Chiefs territory at the Kansas City 13-yard line, Brees handed it off to Ingram on first down. As the Chiefs brought Ingram to the ground, S Ron Parker punched the ball out. CB Marcus Peters recovered the fumble and returned it to the Kansas City 28-yard line.
Later in the fourth quarter, the Saints drew closer when Brees connected with WR Brandon Coleman for his first touchdown of the season, but with just one timeout and a little more than two minutes remaining, the Saints opted for an onside kick.
On the kick, Maclin made a shrewd play by punching the ball out of the air out of bounds, essentially recovering the ball for the offense.
Santos made a 41-yard field goal after the Chiefs took some time off the clock, leaving Brees with 28 seconds and no timeouts to make something happen.
The Saints managed to get to their 31-yard line, and on the game's final play, Brees hit Thomas down the right sideline, but Nelson tackled him just in bounds as the clock hit triple zero.
Smith finished 17 of 24 for 214 yards passing and two touchdowns. Ware had 131 yards from scrimmage in the game, including the 46-yard touchdown. Sorensen had Kansas City's only sack.
The Chiefs head to Indianapolis next weekend to play the Colts. Kickoff time is 12 p.m. CT.
Photos from the Chiefs Week 7 matchup against the Saints