NEW ORLEANS -- Except for the fact that this was a game between 0-2 teams that featured five instant replay reversals of on-field rulings by replacement officials, it might have qualified as an NFL instant classic.
But any way you look at it, the Kansas City Chiefs will take what qualified as a wild and crazy 27-24 overtime victory.
Ryan Succop kicked six fields goals -- including the game-winner from
31 yards out with 6:28 left in overtime -- and Jamaal Charles shredded an abysmal Saints run defense for 233 yards on 33 carries to lift the Chiefs to their first win of the season at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Succop earlier added field goals of 25, 45, 34, 38 and 43 yards, the last one with three seconds left, to send the game into overtime.
The Saints appeared headed to a walkover, leading 24-6 with 6:21 left in the third quarter after Brees converted an interception by Jabari Greer -- the first by the Saints this season -- into a 1-yard scoring pass to fullback Jed Collins.
But the Saints' defense -- the worst in the NFL against the run -- couldn't come close to putting a hand Charles.
Down by 18 points and backed up to the Kansas City 9 on the ensuing kickoff, Charles took a pitch around left end and burst 91 yards for a touchdown, the longest run from scrimmage in Chiefs' history, to make it 24-13 with 5:32 to go in the third quarter.
That score hardly looked significant, but the Chiefs' avalanche was just gathering momentum.
Cornerback Stanford Routt picked off a Brees underthrow on the Saints'
next possession, and Charles went to work again, this time galloping
40 yards through a massive hole off right tackle. That set up Succop's 34-yard field goal, moving the Chiefs within 24-16 with 13:45 left.
After a three-and-out, Matt Cassel moved the Chiefs 50 yards in nine plays to set up another Succop field goal, this one from 38 yards, to inch closer, 24-19, with just over nine minutes left.
The Chiefs' relentless pressure tacked on two more points the next time the Saints got the ball. Linebacker Justin Houston looped around left tackle Zach Strief to sack Brees in the end zone for a safety, making it 24-21 with 5:33 remaining.
After the free kick, Cassel made an incredible third-down conversion by running away from pressure and firing across the field for an 11-yard completion to Jon Baldwin. Then, facing a fourth-and-5 from the Saints' 46 with 2:37 left, the Chiefs looked as though they might punt.
But Romeo Crennel sent Cassel back out, and he hit Dwayne Bowe for a 7-yard completion and a first down at the Saints' 39. The Saints continued to look confused, calling consecutive timeouts and drawing a delay of game penalty.
That set up Succop for his fifth field goal of the day with three seconds left, sending the game into overtime.
NOTES: Brees' 9-yard touchdown pass to Lance Moore on the Saints' opening possession extended his streak of throwing a scoring pass in 46 consecutive games, one shy of Johnny Unitas' all-time NFL record. ... The officials had a crash course in video reviews. Five separate on-field rulings were reversed by replacement referee Don King, and two erased apparent Saints' touchdowns.