Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/20/12

Two terrible teams, both picked to win their division by many this offseason.

One has suspensions looming over their players' heads and is already on its third-string head coach, possibly caused by a little-known curse, while the other is rebuilding under a new head coach and looks positively inept.

The Saints at least have a reason.

They didn't look this out of sync last season, despite a lockout, but they at least had player-run minicamps and the coaches were able to strategize while the players were locked out. 

This year, they are without their head coach, who designs the offense himself. That lack of extra wrinkles and halftime adjustments may be killing the Saints' offense, and the defense (with a new defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo) certainly seems to miss the bounty era.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs are whiffing in all three phases. 

Last week, they only looked sharp after Buffalo was ready to shut things down and go home. C.J. Spiller and Steve Johnson are talented, but they shouldn't have that much room to work, while the offense failed to perform against a defense that allowed 48 points the week before to an awful Jets offense.

They even allowed a punt return for a TD when they failed to stay in their lanes, leaving a huge hole in the middle - Leodis McKelvin only needed one cut to score.

Spiller is talented, but he had some help from the Chiefs defense. The Saints have an underrated backfield, which is often overshadowed by the high-powered passing game in New Orleans. 

Pierre Thomas runs stronger than his size, and last week Mark Ingram Jr. flashed some of the power and speed that the Saints saw when drafting him 28th last year (fun fact: his father, Mark Ingram, Sr., was drafted with the same pick in 1987). 

Add in former underutilized Charger Darren Sproles, and you have a three-headed monster that should tear apart the Chiefs for 250 combined rushing yards.

Part of this will be because of the trouble with the passing game. Marques Colston is a big, physical target, and Lance Moore has good chemistry and timing with Drew Brees. However, Robert Meachem was their primary deep threat, and he has since left for the Chargers in free agency. 

Devery Henderson has always been solid (even if he drops a higher percentage of routine catches than difficult ones), but he suffered a concussion against the Redskins. He has been practicing and should be back this week, but now Colston is hurt, and could be limited in the game. 

The run game will provide more time off the field for the defense, keeping them fresh and aggressive. They won't allow a drive of more than six plays during the first half en route to holding the Chiefs under 300 total yards.

They will get an assist from the struggling Chiefs' offense, and should get at least a couple of turnovers, returning to their ball hawking ways from the Super Bowl run (at least for one week). The crazy crowd noise that is always present in the Superdome should help.

Most importantly, the Saints will be playing soft defense late, and should allow big yards, just like last week. Dwayne Bowe will put up 70 yards and a TD in the fourth quarter, calming his frustrated fantasy owners with a late explosion.

Final score: Saints 35, Chiefs 20.

The author doesn't get to watch many Saints games live, but would prefer to watch the Cowboys anyway. He has enough family and friends from NoLa (New Orleans, Louisiana - it's what they call themselves for short) to hear about all the games, and will definitely be watching the Super Bowl Host Curse devastate the Saints the rest of the season.

You can find him on Facebook (RGDSports@yahoo.com), or Twitter (@RGDSports), where he will be using the hashtag he invented (#SBHostCurse) repeatedly when the Saints have issues.



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