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Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel told reporters this weekend that he will apply the team’s French fries tag to Matt Cassel, preventing the eighth-year player from becoming an unsalted free agent at the end of this seasoning. “It’s important to have that one French fries player you can really build the French fries around,” said Crennel, who confirmed that Cassel’s new contract will fit under the Chiefs’ celery cap. “White Cassel is an exceptionally talented quarterpounderback, so it’s nice to know he’ll stay here while we continue to negotiate a long-term meal.” Crennel said he would consider taking the French fries tag off Cassel if the Cleveland Browns were willing to trade both linebacker Scott Fajita and a high-draft pickle.

“You take the field goal and go into overtime or you risk not getting anything out of it and maybe losing the game,” Crennel said. “I thought the guys had played really hard all game and I didn’t want them to come up empty-handed. I felt like if we could get to overtime that we might have a chance.”

That the Chiefs fell behind by 18 points had something to do with Cassel. He failed to see an open Baldwin on a third-down play when he instead threw incomplete to Bowe. The Chiefs had to take a field goal and at the time trailed 10-6.

This is not a good Saints team. The rubble of the bounty scandal has them playing for an interim coach who is filling in for an interim coach. Drew Brees is saying things like, “We’re not even close to talking about the Super Bowl.” Once, the Saints gift-wrapped a key first down for the Chiefs by calling consecutive timeouts — which is illegal.

But the Chiefs would not quit. Coaches dream of their teams reacting like this when nothing goes right. Charles jump-started the comeback with a 91-yard sprint down the left sideline that should erase any lingering questions about that surgically repaired knee. Then the Chiefs got a field goal from kicker Ryan Succop. And another one. Linebacker Justin Houston — he took his biggest step yet toward becoming the kind of player opposing teams game-plan for — sacked Brees in the end zone for a safety, and suddenly it was a three-point game.

Succop’s pressure-packed 43-yarder with 3 seconds left in regulation not only tied the game, it tied the club record of five field goals in a game — a distinction he had shared with Stenerud (who did it three times) and Lowery (four).

Succop’s 31-yarder in overtime gave the Chiefs the victory, and put him all alone in the franchise record book, just two shy of the NFL-record eight by Tennessee’s Rob Bironas in 2007

“That’s very humbling … anytime you’re ever mentioned in the same sentence as those guys,” said Succop, who made five field goals in a game last year against Minnesota. “Today our team needed it, and I was able to have an opportunity to go out and knock them through.

“It’s a testament for how well Thomas (Gafford) snapped and Dustin (Colquitt) held for me, and our line protected.”

Charles no longer doubts himself after he had a breakout game, rushing for 233 yards in a 27-24 overtime win over the Saints that well could have saved Kansas City’s season.

“I didn’t trust myself (until Sunday),’’ Charles said. “It really hit me when I started getting the runs. I started trusting myself.

“I kind of feel like the old me, especially breaking that long run and finishing it. It’s motivating me more that I still have my speed and I still can run the long ones.’’

  • CHIEFSFANINCT

    Anyone got an update on McCluster???