Garrett Hartley missed field goal and other factors undo the New Orleans Saints on Sunday


September 23, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints place kicker Garrett Hartley (5) reacts after missing a field goal during the second quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Chiefs defeated the Saints 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Yes you can blame the out of sync offense or the porous defense as contributing factors in the New Orleans Saints 27-24 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but there were other miscues that didn’t help.

One glaring one was a missed 38 yard field goal by kicker Garrett Hartley at the end of the second quarter that could have made a difference in the outcome of the game.

Also giving the Chiefs two points on a safety didn’t help either.  With the Saints backed up into their own end zone, offensive tackle Zach Strief was unable to fight off Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston who sacked quarterback Drew Brees has he scrambled to get away.

Although Strief would later admit to reporter Mike Tripplett that he didn’t have his best game, the offensive line in general struggled to hold back the Chiefs defense with running back Mark Ingram missing key blocks as well on pass protection.

Speaking of passing, the interception by Brees caught by cornerback Stanford Routt didn’t help matters either.  That is now the fifth interception by Brees in three games.

While the general consensus in the locker room is that no one wants to point fingers, it’s very respectable that Strief wants to shoulder some of the blame.  Yet others need to step up as well to admit that there is or they are part of the problem.

Fans can blame the replacement refs for calls and the loss of head coach Sean Payton as excuses for the 0-3 start, the fact remains that the team must carry on and turn their season around before it’s too late to do so.