Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) @ New Orleans Saints (0-2)
Sunday September 23, 2012 Noon Kickoff Mercedes Benz Superdome
Last week’s results: Buffalo defeated Kansas City 35-17 / Carolina defeated New Orleans 35-27
The Rankings: The game will feature two of the best offensive units in the National Football League. The Chiefs are the top rated offense in the AFC, averaging 407.4 yards per game while the Saints are ranked 3rd in the NFC and 3rd overall with an output of 422 yards per contest. The Chiefs defense is 20th overall in the NFL (377.5) while the Saints are dead last in the league allowing a whopping 461-yards per game.
What they are saying!
KC Coach Romeo Crennel on Saints RB Pierre Thomas
“How strong legged he is. He doesn’t go down easy. He has some toughness and he is one of those guys that you have to tackle. All of your running backs are like that. You have to tackle all of those guys. They will not go down on their own. Sometimes when one guy thinks he has the tackle, he is just fooling himself. He needs more people to get those guys on the ground.”
KC QB Matt Cassel on if Sunday’s Game against the Saints is a must win
“You just don’t want to keep digging that hole because in the NFL, every team is great each and every week. As you get late in the season, you want to be able to have the ability to either win or lose a game when it starts to count every single week in which you have to be perfect by the end of the season. If you continue to dig yourself too much of a hole, it becomes a little bit more difficult.”
Saints Coach Aaron Kromer on New Orleans being 0-2
“We are not used to being 0-anything. This is a winning organization. It has been a winning organization and we are going to take it back to that. This is unchartered territory for all of us. All we can do is worry about this one week and worry about this practice and this day and how we are getting better individually. Look in the mirror, don’t point fingers, and move on.”
Saints LB Curtis Lofton on is he surprised the Saints are 0-2
“Around here, there’s a reason I came here. This is a winning organization and losing is not what we do and so we just have to go back and get to the fundaments and continue to improve as a team. I actually saw a quote where adversity weakens the weak and strengthens the strong, so we have great strong guys in here, great character guys and we’ll continue to improve and get better.”
Keys to the game
1. Get a conventional/unconventional win! – Over the last three weeks the verbiage has been “conventional” and “unconventional.” Those two words have been used to break down the Skins and Panthers offensive units. The natives are becoming restless and the ship must be righted Sunday, or things could get ugly in a hurry. Simply put, the veteran leadership and the winning ways of this team all have to come to the forefront not only this week but the next few weeks. I think the Saints have to look short term right now. I mean, we all hear the clichés “one game at a time” every week, but that is oh-so-evident with the Black and Gold. This is a must-win for the Saints. They need confidence, but most of all they need a win. If the Saints fall to 0-3 with a trip to Lambeau followed by a home date with the lightning bolts looming, this season could get away from the Saints in a hurry. Regardless of how, it’s got to be done just get a win. Please!
2. Everybody needs to play better – They say that the truth hurts, and right now the truth is that the Saints are not playing good football. Simply put, when this team plays good ball they win and they win big. Right now the Saints are 0-2 for a reason and their play is an indication of their record.
3. Slow the Chiefs down – Like the Saints, the Chiefs are 0-2. The KC offense has piled up some big numbers. Kansas City has the #1 ranked offense in the AFC with an average of 407.5 yards per game. QB Matt Cassel is no threat to tuck and run like RG and Cam, however he can throw the ball, and he has a good weapon on the outside in WR Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs will hit the Saints with three good RB’s in Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis and Dexter McCluster. Until New Orleans slows down their opponents rushing attack you can expect a healthy dose of rushes from opposing teams.
4. Don’t turn the ball over! – Against the Skins the Saints were -3 three in the turnover department. Last week against the Cats New Orleans was -1 and we threw a pick six. If we are not going to force any turnovers, the very least we have to do is not give the ball away. More times than not the Saints have been on the losing side of what is considered the #1 stat in football. Can you imagine if this team did not turn the ball over? Oh yes, that’s right…we don’t lose when we don’t turn the ball over. Simple enough!
5. Play with a sense of urgency – If this is not a must win then what is? I’d hate to be 0-3 going into Green Bay saying that next week’s game at the Packers is a must win. I’m not saying panic, but playing with a sense of urgency like the rest of the season is on the line might be a good starting point for the Saints. I’m not saying put a fork in the Saints if they don’t win this game. But it will be time to take the silver wear out of the napkin for sure if they lose to the Chiefs!
The Big Chief’s prediction – The line started out with the Saints giving nine points. I think the Saints will win but I would be foolish to tell you to give two scores to a team that has the #1 ranked offense in the AFC, a team that is desperate just like the Saints. The best play here is not to play this game at all. Find another game to get down on if you know what I mean.