Nuge's Blog: Saints Game

Tonight is Kansas City's last game of the preseason. For two-thirds of the roster, it's a tune up before the real season starts against the Cincinnati Bengals. For some of the guys, it's one last chance to show the Chiefs, or any team, that they belong in the NFL.

While the starters will only play for maybe a quarter, there are some things to watch for, both while the starters are in, and once the reserves hit the field. Seeing some consistency would be nice. The Chiefs got beat up the first two games against the Houston Texans and the New York Giants before beating the Rams at Arrowhead. The Chiefs need to put forth another strong showing going into the season to prove that the Rams game wasn't an anomaly.

The Saints feature a two-pronged rushing attack. In power rusher Deuce McAllister and speedy rookie Reggie Bush, the Saints have two backs that can kill a defense in different ways. McAllister is a 230-pound wrecking ball that will test the interior of the Chiefs defensive line. He runs with purpose between the tackles and rarely gets brought down by one player. McAllister is the sort of back that takes a team effort to contain. The defensive tackles will be the key to limiting him.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Reggie Bush has been flashing all of the big-play ability he showed at USC. He's young and inexperienced, but he's still dangerous enough to exploit holes in the defense, particularly on the perimeter. The Chiefs have to stay disciplined and hold their assignments to keep Bush from breaking a big play.

Whether it's the starters or the reserves, the Chiefs will have to convert third downs. So far, they're 11-for-37 converting third downs this preseason. Most of the third down conversions came in the Rams game. It's a cliché, but winning on third down requires successful first and second downs. It also means no penalties to pin your team back, something the Chiefs struggled with against the Rams.

I expected the Chiefs would use their tight ends more this preseason. So far, Tony Gonzalez has caught only one pass in the preseason. I don't know if that's by design, or it's just worked out that way, but I'm surprised the tight ends haven't been getting looks. Jason Dunn was running all over the field in camp, but hasn't gotten a ball yet. I can't remember seeing Kris Wilson get a ball either. We'll see if any of those guys get some looks in this game. Top Stories