Chiefs vs. Saints: Kansas City's Biggest Winners and Losers from 27-24 Win
Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel coached his team to a tough win on the road in a hostile environment where teams are playing to avoid remaining winless.
After a frustrating two weeks to open up the season, the Chiefs rebounded and came out victorious in the Superdome.
Winner No. 1: QB Matt Cassel
Matt Cassel has taken a lot of heat this season for the right reasons. But today, Cassel deserves a lot of credit for how he played in the second half and in overtime.
Cassel completed 26 passes for the first time since November 11, 2010. After he threw an interception to Jabari Greer, Cassel focused and connected with his receivers and moved the ball close to give the Chiefs four field goals since that interception.
Cassel has shown two sides two him, but if he performs like he did late in the game today, the Chiefs can compete in the AFC West and turn their season around.
Loser No. 1: WR Dexter McCluster
Dexter McCluster was one of the bright spots for the Chiefs coming into this game. But today was a tough today for him.
Early in the second half, McCluster suffered an injury on the same play where he fumbled a pass. He fell to the ground hard on his hip while trying to catch a pass while wide-open.
His status for next week is still uncertain.
Winner No. 2: RB Jamaal Charles
Jamaal Charles got the Chiefs going with a huge 91-yard touchdown run to get the Chiefs going from their slow start. Charles had only three yards off six carries last week and rebounded strong in Week 3, a 7,766 percent improvement from last week.
The Chiefs will need Charles and his teammates behind him in the backfield to run well to put the team in position to win in upcoming games.
Charles ran for 233 yards, the first 200-yard rushing game for a running back this season. He also had the only touchdown of the game for the Chiefs.
Loser No. 2: RB Peyton Hillis
Peyton Hillis has not been able to bounce back this season in a Chiefs uniform. He only has 82 yards in three games. Like McCluster, he saw only limited action against the Saints.
Hillis suffered an injury against the Saints after dropping a pass from Cassel. Charles will need Hillis to not only step up, but also stay healthy so the team can unleash a powerful rushing game for the remainder of the season.
Winner No. 3: Chiefs Defense
Last week, the Chiefs defense was tossed around by the Buffalo Bills. This week, Crennel's defense turned things around and looked a lot better against one of the best and most accomplished quarterbacks in the NFL today.
The defense did not allow a first down in the fourth quarter and in overtime. The Saints went three-and-out three times. The Chiefs also sacked Brees in the end zone for a safety, helping the Chiefs earn two points.
Loser No. 3: Offensive Line
Branden Albert and Eric Winston were flagged for two false-start penalties, and Ryan Lilja committed two holding penalties.
The Chiefs offensive line dealt with the replacement officials throwing penalty flags at them several times today.
The worst part was when the Chiefs lost starting center Rodney Hudson to injury. Lilja, for the first time in his career, replaced Hudson and filled in well when he was asked to step up in a new position late in the game.
Winner No. 4: Ryan Succop
The Chiefs offense came away with only one touchdown against the Saints.
Thankfully, Ryan Succop came through with a half-dozen field goals against the Saints, including a game-winning 31-yard field goal to win in overtime.
Succop had a career and franchise high six field goals and made his fourth career game-winning field goal since being drafted in 2009.
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