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From the Coach's Office: Saints-Chiefs Analysis

Kansas City Chiefs running back eludes the diving tackle attempt of New Orleans Saints linebacker Will Herring en route to a 91-yard touchdown run (Photo: Parker Waters).Kansas City Chiefs running back eludes the diving tackle attempt of New Orleans Saints linebacker Will Herring en route to a 91-yard touchdown run (Photo: Parker Waters).

There was an unusual occurrence Monday morning. A big, bright, orange orb rose up into the eastern sky.

Yes, indeed, the sun came up in the morning. I know. I have pictures.

As difficult as it is to deal with, life goes on. The alternative is not so good. We have a chance to examine what happened, celebrate our victory, or lick our wounds in defeat.

Every morning gives us an opportunity to improve. Certainly after a loss, we have a lot more to consider and work on than when we win.

"The winners laugh while the losers say shut up and deal."

First, the officials. The product is being affected. They have to be overcome. Oh, wait, this just in--they are gone. Problem solved, at least this one.

IMHO, every week the replacement officials call games, the more the NFL resembles the WWF.

There were two plays that typified the game, one offensive and one defensive. In one, the Saints have an uncovered receiver and cannot complete the pass, the other with an unblocked defender at the point of attack allow a 91-yard touchdown.

With 1:15 to go in the second quarter, the Saints had driven to the KC 9 yard line. On 2nd & 7, the Chiefs left Pierre Thomas completely uncovered. Thomas was so open that he could make a great diving catch, get off ground and still score easily. There was a total bust by the KC coverage in that the Chiefs left both Thomas and Graham uncovered.

Poor communication between Thomas and Brees made the play challengeable. Thomas continued up the field while he was completely uncovered. This caused Brees to throw the ball behind him, forcing Thomas to make a great catch.

However, the call was reversed. I cannot see how Referee Don King could reverse the call. There is no view that shows the ball touching the ground. The ruling on the field was a catch and touchdown, so there had to be visual evidence that the ball hit the ground. King had to guess that the ball hit the ground.

The real error was that the Saints did not easily take advantage of the breakdown. Garrett Hartley's first miss of the year converted seven points to zero.

It appeared that Hartley's plant foot was too far in front of the football causing a push.

The position of the plant foot is critical to the direction and solid hit of a place kick. Simply, if the plant foot is too far in front of the ball a push results; too far behind the ball the ball gets pulled.

This is something that bad teams do: fail to make the opponent pay for a grievous error. Yet the Saints still found a way in the second half to extend the lead. They wrested the momentum away from the Chiefs.

At the 5:32 mark of the third quarter the Saints had extended their lead to 24 – 6, and the Saints had great coverage on the kickoff. With 91 yards to go, the Saints had the opportunity to "step on the neck" of the opposition and put them away. The Saints not only failed to do this, but instantaneously put the Chiefs back in the game.

Jamaal Charles took one play to go 91 yards.

On the play there was poor coordination between Will Herring at strong side outside linebacker and Martez Willson at defensive end. This would be a defensive personnel grouping anticipating a pass and putting pressure on the quarterback. Wilson is supposed to be a speed rusher and not a run stopper. However, the Chiefs had 21-personnel (2-backs, 1-TE) in the game, and having Wilson in the game at DE was not the best idea.

Wilson aligned on the inside shoulder of the tight end, or a 7-technique. In that alignment he cannot get knocked back off the line of scrimmage so Herring, who aligned over the tackle, can scrape outside. Wilson never got out of his stance and was knocked backward by the tackle. Herring had a choice: Do I come underneath Wilson or do I run a hump behind the block? He chose to come underneath, could not get to Charles, and allowed him to bounce outside.

Another failure was that DT Tom Johnson allowed the center up to middle backer Curtis Loftin keeping him from pursuing. No one else got off their blocks to make the play which is another example of a poor team.

With momentum on their side, the Saints defense failed miserably with an unblocked defender at the point of attack. Yes, Wilson was grabbed and held, but replacement officials are not calling that penalty.

With momentum now on their side, the Chiefs continued to put pressure on the Saints, eventually tying them and winning in over time. The Succop game winning kick was the first time all season that the Chiefs had been ahead.

This was two bad teams playing a bad game. The Saints could not put the Chiefs away when they had the chance. You have to make the plays to overcome the officials.

While it will be difficult to make the playoffs, only three teams have after starting 0-3, there is still a lot of season to go. It is a good idea for the players to have an off day Monday. Start fresh, strive for improvement daily. Make today the best day ever.

 

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