Saints' Drew Brees comes up short again in road defeat
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are putting up the kind of ridiculous numbers at home that would be hard to believe even in the Madden video game.
On the road has been another matter.
Brees threw an interception that was returned 48-yard for a touchdown on Sunday, and generally had a tough time moving the Saints against a stout Kansas City defense, ultimately running out of time in a 24-21 loss to the Chiefs at boisterous Arrowhead Stadium.
''We know we can compete with anybody anywhere,'' Brees said afterward. ''We can overcome anything as well, but the odds go against you when you get pre-snap penalties, when you put yourself in third-and-long situations, when you turn the ball over and give them points or a short field.''
Brees still finished with 377 yards and three TD passes for the Saints (2-4), but it was another uneven performance away from the Superdome for one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL.
Brees is averaging 421.3 yards passing with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions at home. On the road? Just 282 yards per game with six touchdowns and three picks, including the one on Sunday.
He was also hit four times and sacked once by an aggressive Chiefs defensive front.
''There are always different challenges when you go on the road,'' Saints coach Sean Payton said. ''We have played some good games at home and we've struggled at home sometimes. A lot of it is who you're playing, how you're taking care of the football and how you're running the football.''
And some of it is the venue, which gave the Chiefs a decided advantage on Sunday.
New Orleans was called for four false starts and a delay of game, and it was clear that Brees was having trouble communicating with his young wide receivers much of the afternoon.
''Especially with a veteran quarterback like that, you don't really expect it,'' Chiefs safety Eric Berry said. ''They say it's the loudest stadium in the world and that's true. It helps us.''
Brees said the Saints were ''flinching'' a bit too soon, and lamented the number of penalties that killed promising drives. That led to a 21-7 halftime deficit, and forced New Orleans to abandon what had been a successful ground game in an attempt to rally down the stretch.
Brees wound up with 168 yards passing and a touchdown in the fourth quarter alone.
''We knew our execution had to be at a premium and unfortunately those penalties were costly,'' he said. ''You feel like throughout the game we move the ball well, pretty balanced in regards to the flow. On all our scoring drives it felt like the flow was really good and the ones where we didn't get points it was either we turned the ball over or we had penalties that killed the drive.
''That can't happen against a team like this in this type of environment. We got what we deserved.''
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