Chiefs show grit in a win over the Saints

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Succop earned his paycheck Sunday.
  • KC Chiefs Blog
  • Succop earned his paycheck Sunday.
In the fourth quarter of the Kansas City Chiefs game against the New Orleans Saints, I felt like I was going to throw up a little bit. And I welcomed the feeling.

It was nice to have a bit of tension on a Sunday for a change. It was nice to have an outcome in doubt. It was nice to see the Chiefs show some grit in beating the Saints 27-24 in overtime, coming back from an 18-point deficit in the third quarter.

What wasn't nice was watching quarterback Matt Cassel airmail passes. Jonathan Baldwin caught a ball that was destined for the Gulf of Mexico and Dexter McCluster's shoulder didn't survive his attempt to haul in a high pass. What also wasn't nice was watching the referees fail to have the conviction required to keep the game moving. Also, the announcing duo, Dan Dierdorf and Greg Gumbel, seemed to be struggling with the rules right alongside them.

But in a choppy game, this was the Chiefs team that pundits expected to see. Jamaal Charles cutting left and only stopping 91 yards later in the end zone. Justin Houston making Drew Brees' life miserable, notching a safety to cut the Saints lead to three in the fourth quarter. And Ryan Succop hitting all six of his kick attempts, including the game winner in overtime.

The Chiefs needed a Herculean effort to beat the winless Saints in New Orleans Sunday. Charles has 288 yards from scrimmage and carried the ball 33 times on his reconstructed knee. Succop kicked 216 yards worth of field goals. But a gutty win in many ways saved the season. The mediocrity of the AFC West also doesn't hurt. The Chiefs host 2-1 division-leading San Diego next week (Denver and Oakland both sit at 1-2). And that's when we'll see if this win was an aberration or if we've got ourselves a football team.

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