The Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints are just hours from kickoff. Both teams are entering the contest 0-2 and are desperate for a win. The winner of this one has a chance to turn their season around. The loser…well, they may just find themselves in a hole too deep to dig out of.
To get you ready for what’s ahead, I sat down with Gene Higginbotham, editor of FanSided’s Saints site, Who Dat Dish. Let’s go inside the enemy camp!
Both the Chiefs and the Saints are big disappointments so far. How badly do you think NO is missing Sean Payton?
I think that with the absence of Payton, the Saints are missing the dynamic offense play calling ability that he has. No disrespect to offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., but Payton is a genius when it comes to certain aspects of the game. Also, I believe the salty demeanor he gives out breeds confidence and urgency to his players. It’s something that current interim head coach Aaron Kromer doesn’t seem to have, mainly because it’s not his style.
The Saints’ offense seems to still be producing but the defense is allowing them to get out-scored. Is this a serious problem that will follow the Saints throughout the season or just a matter of a lack of focus early in the season? Will these guys recover?
The main problem with the defense seems to be that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo doesn’t seem to have the right personnel to accomplish what he wants which is pass rush with solid coverage down field. Also, this is a new defense for everybody to learn and I think linebacker Chris Chamberlain was valuable at helping those guys learn it. When he went on injured reserve in preseason, it hurt them to a degree. As far as improving, Spagnupolo says they but the proof will be as the season goes on.
Who are some young Saints players that Chiefs fans may not have heard of yet but should keep an eye on Sunday?
I’m anxious to see cornerback Johnny Patrick back after his injury in Week 1 as well as checking out defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. Also defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker hasn’t been activated even though he had a monster preseason.
If you could take one player from the Chiefs and put him on the Saints, who would it be and why?
While it’s a tough choice, I would like to see outside linebacker/defensive end Tamba Hali on the Saints roster. He could be someone that they could really use to bolster some pass rush.
Which Saints player has been the biggest disappointment so far this season?
I think there are a few but I’ll give you one for both sides of the ball. On offense, I think wide receiver Joe Morgan was slated to be able to stretch the field with his speed but has been unable to be consistent with catching the ball. On defense, cornerback Patrick Robinson has been disappointing thus far. Being a first round pick, you would expect something back on the investment and although he played well last year, he has been having a lot of mental errors, poor tackling, and missed interceptions.
Bonus: What is your prediction for Sunday’s game?
I think the Saints finally break the slide they are in and pull out a victory, 28-17