The Kansas City Chiefs opened the week as big underdogs against the New Orleans Saints. There's a reason for that -- the Saints are the better team. We're all Chiefs fans but we can admit that the Saints are better.
We know this game is a long shot but, you know what, so was the Green Bay Packers game last year.
The Chiefs can win this game. It may not be likely, but they can. Here's how they can do it:
1. Run, run, run
Didn't I say this would be a key every single week? It is and it should be. The Chiefs key to this game will be running the ball, the same as it is almost every other week. This has a number of consequences, as we'll touch on below, but as much as anything the Chiefs need to control the flow of this game. Don't let the Saints turn this into a shootout. Make them play the Chiefs' way -- slow and steady rushing the ball while making the Saints pay when they cheat.
Run the ball all day long and don't look back.
2. Keep the Saints offense off the field
Playing off the Chiefs ability to run the ball, KC needs to keep New Orleans' offense off the field. That's the best way to attack their offense. You run the ball. You force three-and-outs. You don't let the Saints take up 11- and 12-play drives. Keep the defense fresh because you're going to need with the way the Saints pass the ball.
The best way to stop Drew Brees is to keep the ball out of his hands. No three-and-outs!
3. No slow starts
Duh. This has been something we've harped on over the last couple of weeks because when it really comes down to it this is what kills the Chiefs -- they start slow and have to play from behind which means they're not playing to their strength offensively. The key here is not necessarily getting off to a fast start offensively but don't get into a big hole early. Stay alive. Keep the running game relevant. Don't allow the Saints to dictate the game.
Don't get into a hole early and keep your entire offensive playbook open.
4. Dominate, not just win, the turnover battle
The Chiefs can't win this game if they win the turnover battle 1-0. This needs to be a multiple turnover game -- I'm talking plus-three in the turnover battle. Not only that, they need to flip those turnovers into points. An interception does little good if you punt it back to them.
Make this the worst game of Drew Brees' life.
5. Get lucky
Let's be honest, folks. The Chiefs need to get lucky in this game. They're the biggest underdog of the week for a reason. Whether that's an interception returned for six, a punt return to the house or a pair of 75-yard Jamaal Charles touchdown runs, they need to get lucky and do some things in this game we normally don't see.
How will the Chiefs get lucky in this game?