Former Hickory kicker Succop lifts Chiefs over Saints
NEW ORLEANS — Ryan Succop delivered a huge kick in the gut to the reeling New Orleans Saints.
Succop kicked six field goals, one to force overtime in the final seconds and another from 31 yards to lift the Kansas City Chiefs to a 27-24 victory over the Saints, who remain winless through three games since coach Sean Payton was suspended in connection with the NFL's bounty investigation.
Succop's 43-yard field goal with 3 seconds left completed a methodical comeback by Kansas City (1-2) after the Saints had cashed in on a pair of Chiefs turnovers to go ahead 24-6 in the third quarter.
In storming back to win for the first time this season, Kansas City needed only one touchdown, a 91-yard run by Jamaal Charles, who finished with 233 yards rushing and 55 yards receiving.
The Chiefs also got a safety in the fourth quarter on Justin Houston's third sack of the game.
Drew Brees passed for 240 yards and three touchdowns, but missed all six of his passes through the fourth quarter and overtime, when the Saints were unable to get a single first down.
After Charles' long TD made it 24-13 in the third quarter, Stanford Routt's interception of Brees' underthrown pass for Devery Henderson near the Kansas City goal line thwarted another Saints scoring chance.
Succop field goals of 34 and 38 yards early in the fourth quarter cut it to 24-19, setting up a wild finish.
Houston's sack of Brees for a safety cut it to 24-21 and gave Kansas City the ball with 5:33 left.
Cassel's spinning scramble and 11-yard pass across the field to Jon Baldwin on third-and-10 extended the drive, which also included Cassel's completion to Dwayne Bowe on fourth-and-5 before Succop's game-tying kick with 3 seconds left.
In one of several lowlights for the crew of replacement officials working the game, New Orleans was briefly ruled the winner on the field in overtime when running back Shaun Draughn lost the ball stretching for a first down and safety Roman Harper picked up the ball and ran to the end zone.
The fumble was overturned on video review, but the spot came up a half-yard short of a first down. Charles easily converted a fourth-down run to extend the winning drive.
With New Orleans bringing in the NFL's third-ranked offense and Kansas City's offense ranked fifth — and with both teams' defenses ranked near the bottom of the NFL — oddsmakers had set the over-under at 53, higher than any other game this week.
The Saints then opened according to script, marching 83 yards in six plays, helped by Darren Sproles' 47-yard run. Lance Moore made it 7-0 with a leaping, outstretched snag of Brees' 9-yard pass.
After that, however, no team got in the end zone for the rest of the half. The Chiefs' Ryan Succop hit field goals of 25 and 45 yards, and New Orleans' Garrett Hartley hit from 40, and the Saints led 10-6 at halftime.
New Orleans appeared to be taking command in the third quarter thanks to a pair of turnovers by the Chiefs.
First came a fumble by Dexter McCluster, who hurt his shoulder while falling on his own after a short catch, then let the ball go moments before he would have been touched down by cornerback Jabari Greer. Officials initially ruled McCluster down while linebacker Jonathan Casillas scooped the ball and ran to the end zone. The Saints challenged and won a reversal on replay review, giving them the ball on the Chiefs 19. That set up Brees' 1-yard TD pass to tight end Jimmy Graham.
New Orleans then went ahead 24-6 on Brees' 6-yard swing pass to fullback Jed Collins, capping a short drive set up by Greer's interception and 28-yard return to the Kansas City 7.