Pick of the week: Chiefs (+8.5) at Saints


Well the first two weeks have not exactly gone as planned with the weekly pick. Andrew Luck stole it last week and the Jets felt like scoring a lot in Week 1, so lets try to get back on the winning road this week.

The Saints have been a disaster thus far. Everyone expected Drew Brees to act as the team leader with the absence of Sean Payton, but he can only do so much. The loss of Robert Meachem has had more of an impact than many expected, and aside from Darren Sproles, few Saints have been able to get on track in the first few games.

Both teams have allowed 75 points in their first two games, so expect this game to be wide open. Neither team can do anything to stop the run, so it might be time for Jamaal Charles to get going after being largely shut out thus far.

The Chiefs were one of the trendy preseason picks to possibly steal the division. They made a plethora of moves in the offseason at skill positions, and with Charles reportedly at full health, and Peyton Hillis joining the backfield, it was supposed to be gravy for the Chiefs this year. But they have been unable to get on track thus far.

We all know the Saints can air it out, especially at home, but it is the balance that they have been lacking. They once again have too many weapons in the backfield, and without a tactician like Sean Payton calling plays, it is hard to get touches for everyone. Sproles is as dangerous as they come, but dump off passes are only going to be so effective in the long-term. The field has to be stretched out, otherwise the prevent can just play a soft zone cover and allow the soft yards underneath.

The Chiefs, like the Vikings last week, have all sorts of weapons at their disposal. Charles, Bowe, Hillis, Baldwin, Boss, Moeaki and Breaston. While it is not ideal to have Cassell under centre, it is what they have right now. They solidified the offensive line with Eric Winston at right tackle, but the continued disappointing production along the defensive line has been notable.

Their secondary is solid with Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers, but their two 3-4 ends with Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson have been high pick busts and huge burdens on the cap. While the role of a 3-4 end is significantly different from that of a 4-3 end, and the numbers might not always show up in the sack category, they have been ineffective in eating up the blockers and creating gaps for the backers shooting through.

Will the Chiefs be able to keep this game close? If you put two terrible defences on the field at the same time, and a pair of under performing attacks, you have a recipe for a close shootout game. Saints are last in total defence as well as rushing defence. The Chiefs topped the league in week two with 6.3 yards per carry, so expect them to continue with the thunder and lightning of Charles and Hillis early and often.

Pick of the week record: 0-2. It has been ugly, but we are still early in the season, so there is hope. Taking a big dog on the road in a tough dome sure doesn't sound smart, but hey, why not.