It is bizarre to see zeroes on the left side of the win-loss column for both of these teams, but their play on the field illustrates exactly why each club is winless. Both are ranked in the bottom third in total defense and have a combined minus-10 turnover ratio.
One word can be used to describe the defenses of both teams: ugly.
The Chiefs have been much more competitive to begin this season compared to 2011. However, two blowout losses at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills by a combined score of 75-41 have led to a deflated fanbase that came into this year with a lively optimism that the franchise was on the uptick.
New Orleans, on the other hand, entered the 2012 season on wobbly ground. Lingering effects from Bounty-Gate and drawn out contract negotiations with quarterback Drew Brees had this franchise looking for answers.
For both of these teams to enter this game winless comes as an absolute shocker to most. The talent that will be on the field Sunday will rival any other game on the Week 3 schedule.
Here is one bold prediction for each team in this weekend’s matchup:
Chiefs Rush for More than 200 Yards and 2 Touchdowns as a Team
Kansas City’s offense ranks fifth in the league in rushing after two games, averaging 151 yards per game. The Saints defense ranks last in the league, giving up 186 yards per game on the ground in that same period.
The Saints were unable to contain a makeshift Washington Redskins backfield, nor could they stop the Carolina Panthers from charging up and down the field. A healthy Jamaal Charles, a resurgent Peyton Hillis and Shaun Draughn make up one of the best backfields in the NFL for Kansas City.
For the Chiefs to ultimately right the ship and make this season a success, running the ball well is imperative. Sunday’s game in New Orleans should allow them the opportunity to shine.
Darren Sproles Matches Last Week’s Total of 13 Receptions
While the Saints offense features a lot of recognizable names, it doesn’t run as smoothly without diminutive uber-back Darren Sproles.
New Orleans found the perfect combination for Sproles last season as he rushed for 603 yards and also tallied 710 receiving yards. The Saints have yet to hand the ball off to him this season, but Sproles is on pace for 144 receptions after just two games—a lofty number, but increasingly possible after seeing just how useful he has become to Brees.
The Chiefs defense will have to play pick-your-poison with the Saints on Sunday. Tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Marques Colston are a handful for any team. Their ability to spread the field give Sproles just as much—if not more—space than he had against the Carolina Panthers last week.
Maybe Kansas City should take notes on how to use Dexter McCluster.