From New Orleans, Louisiana
It was a nice victory for the Chiefs no Sunday against the Saints, but it came at a price.
Three key players left the game with injuries, new physical problems to go with all the previous ones the Chiefs had on their injury report. All three players were injured in the first five minutes of the second half:
– WR Dexter McCluster went down first. On the opening offensive play of the second half he caught a pass from QB Matt Cassel and spun and was falling to the ground with the ball, when he braced himself at the last instant with his left arm. As he was hitting the ground he lost control of the ball because he went to grab his left arm. McCluster was in a great deal of pain as he was helped off the field and afterwards, head coach Romeo Crennel said it was an elbow injury and McCluster had his left arm in a sling.
– On the Chiefs next offensive possession, RB Peyton Hillis was in the left flat and Cassel threw him a pass. Hillis tried to turn his body to catch the ball, but he dropped it. From there, he just kept running, going into the Chiefs bench area and ripping off his helmet and bouncing it on the ground. The Chiefs said the problem as his left ankle.
– Just five minutes after Hillis left the field, C Rodney Hudson went down with a right knee injury. Hudson appeared to be in a great deal of pain as he laid on the ground, but he eventually got to his feet and waved off help as he limped to the bench. A few minutes later he was taken in a cart to the locker room.
Going into the game, the Chiefs had six of their seven inactive players for Sunday out because of injuries: TE Kevin Boss (head), FS Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), NT Anthony Toribio (ankle), WR Devon Wylie (hamstring), CB Jacques Reeves (hamstring) and TE Jake O’Connell (knee).
If Hudson’s injury keeps him out awhile, the Chiefs will have to make some sort of roster move. On the practice squad they had C/G Lucas Patterson, but he was placed on the practice squad injured list last week after he suffered a knee injury in practice.
The tickets sold for Sunday’s game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome was announced as 72,226 and most of those fans were in the seats to see the game.
They also proved to be the loudest crowd β home and away β that the Chiefs have played in front of in some time. Late in the game as the Saints lead was slipping away, the fans turned up the decibels and tried to help their team, to no avail.
The Chiefs had three false start penalties, some of which can be traced to the noise level. Other than those, they seemed to handle it well.
“Man we had the noise turned up at practice last week, all week,” said SS Eric Berry. “It was making my head hurt and we were outside. That really got us ready for this.”
SPECIAL TEAMS REPORT
It was a good day for the kicking game, with Ryan Succop’s club record 6 field goals including one to tie and one to win. Plus, CB Jalil Brown did a great job in getting a punt downed in the overtime that made a huge difference in field position.
P Dustin Colquitt kicked 5 times and averaged 41.6 yards a punt, with a net average of 41.2. In fact, only one of his punts was returned, as Darren Sproles got two yards. Colquitt put four of the five kicks inside the 20-yard line.
On returns, Javier Arenas got some help from RB Shaun Draughn on kickoff returns, but that didn’t provide much. Arenas had 3 punt returns and averaged 13.3 yards. He added 3 kickoff returns at a 19.3-yard average. Draught had 2 kickoff returns for a 18.5-yard average.
On his 5 kickoffs, Succop had 2 touchbacks and one kick that wasn’t returned. Sproles averaged 26.8 yards on four kickoff returns.
LB Edgar Jones led the special teams coverage with two tackles. Also adding tackles were FS Tysyn Hartman, CB Jalil Brown and LB Brandon Siler.
Inactive players for the Chiefs against the Saints were QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Devon Wylie, FS Kendrick Lewis, CB Jacques Reeves, TE Kevin Boss, TE Jake O’Connell and NT Anthony Toribio. The only healthy scratch was Stanzi; all the other players were on the injured list last week.
It’s the first game on the game-day active list for DE Allen Bailey, TE Steve Maneri and RB Cyrus Gray.
Inactive players for the Saints against the Chiefs were WR Joseph Morgan, RB Chris Ivory, RB Travaris Cadet, CB Elbert Mack, DT Tyrunn Walker, OT Bryce Harris and DE Turk McBride. Only former Chiefs player McBride was on the list because of an injury as he did not practice all week with an ankle injury.
The Chiefs are now 14-18-2 in overtime games β¦ they’ve outscored opponents 35-6 in the fourth quarter and OT in three games. Finally the late scores meant something in New Orleans β¦ Arenas became No. 4 on the franchise career punt returns list with 826. He passed CB Dale Carter β¦ WR Dwayne Bowe now has 374 career catches, passing FB Kimble Anders (369) and moving into 6th place in team history β¦ the 91-yard run by Jamaal Charles was the longest run against the Saints in team history β¦ Saints QB Drew Brees extended his streak of games throwing a TD pass to 46, the second longest such streak in the history of the NFL. Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas holds the record with 47 consecutive games with a scoring throw β¦ Brees also ended the day with 3,688 career completions, moving past Frank Tarkenton into eighth place in the all-time NFL records.