Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs At New Orleans Saints
- QuarterbackThe Chiefs are off to a disappointing 0-2 start and that puts a lot of pressure on Matt Cassel. While he does not have a huge arm, he has shown he can be an accurate passer and make good decisions. Cassel must turn up the intensity.There’s no question that Drew Brees is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. When it comes to accuracy, he doesn’t have to take a backseat to anyone. However, he’s feeling the pressure of having to work with a substandard defense.
- OffenseThe Chiefs have the tools to take much of the pressure off Cassel. Jamaal Charles has knee problems but Peyton Hillis ran the ball well in the loss to the Bills. Dwayne Bowe is an explosive, big-play wideout.The Saints have the offensive weapons to cause problems for any opponent, especially when they are playing in the Superdome. Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram are a solid running the ball while Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles can get open for Brees at any time.
- DefenseThe Chiefs have struggled badly in the early going and just have not put enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks to stop the attack. Linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali need to step up their play and take a leadership role.The Saints have been devastated on the defensive end two weeks in a row by athletic quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton. They will not be tested in that manner by Cassel and should have an easier time. Still, they give up way too many big plays.
- Special TeamsThe Chiefs have a talented group of special teamers. Steve Breaston and Javier Arenas both have the potential to make big plays with their game-breaking speed. Ryan Succop has become a dependable kicker and punter Dustin Colquitt averaged 44.7 yards on seven punts against the Bills.Special teams should be a strength for the Saints. Sproles is an explosive return man who can turn a game around in a heartbeat. Garrett Hartley is a decent placekicker and Thomas Morstead gets height and distance on his punts.
Many observers thought the Chiefs would have a chance to make some noise in the AFC West this season. While they don’t have a lot of overwhelming strengths, they didn’t seem to have many weaknesses either. The Saints have dropped their first two games and dropping a third straight game to open the season seems inconceivable.