Saints Should Follow Steelers’ Blueprint to Beat Kansas City

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Force Alex Smith to Make Plays Throwing the Ball

Oct 16, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) calls out to teammates against the Oakland Raiders during the third quarter at Oakland Coliseum. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 26-10. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This last element is contingent on the Saints building an early lead.

The Saints must force the Chiefs to become one-dimensional, and force Alex Smith to beat them with his arm, not by handing the ball off to Jamaal Charles and Spencer Ware.

The Steelers mastered this strategy back in Week #4.

Against Pittsburgh, the Chiefs threw the ball a staggering 50 times. Spencer Ware and Jamaal Charles combined for just 15 carries. That is NOT winning football for the Chiefs.

Next: Saints vs. Chiefs: An Early Look at Toughest Road Game of the Year

As much as he disputes the title, Alex Smith is the epitome of a “game-manager” at the quarterback position.

He will use his legs, and ‘dink and dunk’ in the West Coast-style offense to pick up first downs and set up his running game.

Oct 16, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates scoring a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

If the Saints can get to the second half with any substantial lead, it will force the Chiefs to try to push the ball deep, playing away from their strengths.

Alternatively, if the Saints are behind, or in a close game, the Chiefs will attempt to pound the ball down their throats all game long.

With the current 29th ranked rushing defense in the league, this is not a winning game formula for the Saints.

More than any time previously this season, the Saints will need to play complementary football to get the job done in Kansas City.

It’s a tall order to be sure, but if the Saints are serious about turning around their season, and overcoming the 7-9 hump of the past two years, they need to start winning some tough games…..