With 5:36 left in the third quarter Sunday, Drew Brees connected with Jed Collins for a six-yard touchdown to put the Saints up 24-6 over the Chiefs.
At that point, it seemed, victory was in their grasp.
But the Chiefs responded with a Jamaal Charles 91-yard touchdown run. After that, the Saints offense completely self-destructed.
"The third and fourth quarter were abysmal," said Brees.
It began when Brees was picked off by Stanford Routt, and only got worse from there.
At the 13:34 mark of the fourth quarter Darren Sproles ran for a two-yard gain. It turned out to be the Saints final positive play from scrimmage of the game. From then on, the Saints went backward with -17 yards and no points to close out the game.
"Never really feeling like we could get any tempo going, "said Brees, who didn't complete a pass in the final quarter and overtime.
"We were out of rhythm," said offensive line coach Aaron Kromer. "We weren't executing at the same level we were earlier."
While the Saints offense struggled the Chiefs made just enough plays to slowly chip away at the Saints with three fourth quarter field goals and a safety. Tackle Zach Strief took full responsibility for the momentum swing.
"I've never felt more individually responsible for the destruction of an offense before," said a dejected Strief in the locker room after the game.
By the time Ryan Succop kicked the game winner in overtime, the offense was left with the awful feeling of what exactly went wrong.
"For years we've been a dominant offense," Kromer said. "Right now we're not a dominant offense. We need to be."
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