Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Chiefs Recover from Poor Defensive Start, Use Takeaways to Thwart Saints

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Chiefs Recover from Poor Defensive Start, Use Takeaways to Thwart Saints

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tone-setters the Kansas City Chiefs were not Sunday on the first drive they defended.

Drew Brees was allowed to look every bit himself. The New Orleans quarterback promptly marched the Saints 80 yards in 10 plays to give the Saints a quick lead.

A shootout looked likely.

That did not materialize, however. The game was closer to a slugfest. One the Chiefs defense forced and the Saints' lack of discipline ended as Kansas City nipped New Orleans 27-21 in Arrowhead Stadium.

"I honestly don't feel like we finished the game like we're supposed to," said safety Eric Berry. "We gave up too many yards and should have got a few more stops, just to give the offense the opportunities they needed. We got turnovers and stuff, but there's a lot of things we can improve if we want to be an elite defense."

Don't bother replicating the unit New Orleans fields.

Intent on striking Alex Smith out of bounds as if bounty booty was on the line in the first half, the Saints added one last cheap shot at the worst time.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley body-slammed the Chiefs' Spencer Ware roughly a half-acre from a 5-yard gain KC made with 2:18 left. The personal foul moved the ball to the New Orleans 29, and gave the Chiefs time to operate inside the 2-minute warning before Carlos Santos connected on a 41-yard field goal with 28 seconds left.

Coupled with two critical takeaways, the Chiefs did enough to negate the 463 yards Brees and Co. netted.

Daniel Sorensen, a defensive back the Chiefs liked as a special teams contributor when the BYU product was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014, showed his instincts can apply to defense. Sorensen's 48-yard interception return late in the first quarter gave KC the lead for good.

"I just like to call him a ballplayer," said Berry, who deflected the pass Sorensen picked. "Runs, passes, it doesn't matter. He's a heckuva special teams player and I think that carries over to defense because you have to be intense. I feel like he brings that to our defense."

At BYU, Sorensen gained the reputation of an aggressor. …

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