NEW ORLEANS — Remember the hard-luck Saints of old — that mistake-prone franchise that routinely crumbled in crunch time?
In their first three games since coach Sean Payton was suspended in the NFL's bounty probe, the Saints — Super Bowl champs just 21/2 years ago — have started to resemble that franchise again, and even Drew Brees has been helpless to stop it.
New Orleans could not keep an 18-point third-quarter lead, and fans in the Superdome watched in dread Sunday as Kansas City's Ryan Succop hit his club-record sixth field goal to lift the previously winless Chiefs to a 27-24 overtime victory.
The Saints have lost twice in the Superdome, where they were unbeaten a season ago, and which will host the Super Bowl next February.
But New Orleans now looks like a long shot to be playing for a championship after opening with losses to three 1-2 teams.
"We are far from talking about the Super Bowl right now," Brees said. "What we need to focus on is getting one win."
Next week, the reeling Saints travel to Green Bay.
The Chiefs went home feeling a lot better about not only their first victory but the resolve they showed to get it, erasing a 24-6 deficit.
"The best part is our guys never gave up," said Succop, a perfect 6 for 6 on kicks ranging from 25 to 45 yards. "We kept fighting, it was a huge team win and I'm just really excited to have had a part in it."
After Jamaal Charles' 91-yard TD run — the longest running play in Chiefs history, and the longest given up by the Saints — started their comeback, the Chiefs defense thwarted a Saints scoring chance when Stanford Routt intercepted Brees' underthrown pass for Devery Henderson near the Kansas City goal line late in the third quarter. Brees, 20-of-36 for 240 yards and three TDs, never had another completion after that.
Charles had 233 yards rushing and became the fourth running back ever with two games of 230-plus yards rushing, joining Jim Brown (who had three), O.J. Simpson and Corey Dillon.