September 23, 2012

What A Collapse: Saints Lose By FG in OT vs KC; Blew 24-6 Lead

The Saints held a 24-6 lead with 5:36 left in the third quarter, but both sides of the ball for the home team collapsed in the fourth quarter, allowing the Chiefs a 91-yard touchdown run, a safety and three fields goals to tie the game and eventually win it in overtime.



The Saints claimed a 10-0 lead early on with a touchdown pass to Lance Moore on the game's opening drive and a field goal on the second drive.  It was a defensive struggle through the first half as the Chiefs were bottled up.

But it was Brees who would be bottled up after his early success.  Brees hit three of his first four passes for 36 yards on the opening drive, but 17/32 after that for 204 yards.   Brees' last completion of the game was at the 4:06 mark of the third quarter, a 34-yard strike to Lance Moore.  Two plays later, Brees threw for Devery Henderson at the end zone and was picked off.  In the fourth quarter, Brees had potentially his worst quarter ever as a Saint - missing on all three throws, sacked twice, including a safety.  The Saints' only possession in overtime was a three-and-out with three straight incompletions.

In a game between two 0-2 teams, the Saints jumped out to an apparent 17-6 lead late in the second quarter.  A touchdown pass from Brees to Pierre Thomas, who made a diving one-handed catch, was ruled incomplete despite no clear visual evidence that the ball ever hit the round.  Brees would be sacked on the next play and Garrett Hartley missed a 38-yard field goal, leaving the Saints with a 10-6 lead at halftime.  It was one of seven challenges on the day, six of which went against the home team.

The Saints would have two second-half defensive touchdowns cancelled by officials, the first when Chiefs RB/WR Dexter McCluster caught a pass and was injured, letting the ball roll free before he was untouched.  Scott Shanle returned the ball for the touchdown but the play was incorrectly blown dead by the league's replacement referees. McCluster, writing in pain, had never been touched. The Saints were given possession of the ball after replay review ruled that McCluster had fumbled, but the inadvertent whistle nullified the touchdown.  Five plays later Brees would throw his second touchdown pass of the day, to Jimmy Graham from one yard out.

The Saints would also lose a defensive score in overtime, when Chiefs RB Shaun Draughn fumbled when diving.  Replay review ruled correctly that Draughn was down before fumbling.

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles torched the Saints for 233 yards rushing on 33 attempts, including a 91-yard touchdown run that started run of 21 unanswered points by the Chiefs to end the game.  Charles had 162 yards rushing in the third quarter alone.  The Chiefs finished with 510 yards of total offense.

Saints RB Darren Sproles sprung a 47-yard run on the third play of the game to fuel the Saints' opening 83-yard touchdown drive.  The Saints would finish with only 83 yards rushing - Sproles, Ingram and Thomas averaged 2.1 yards per carry outside of Sproles' long run.

Brees would be sacked four times and picked off once while completing 20/36 passes for 240 yards.  He was constantly hounded by Chiefs pass rush and walked off the field gingerly at times.  All three of Brees' passes to Sproles were incomplete - Sproles had 18 receptions in the first two games for the Saints.


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