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Saints fall to Chiefs on missed two-point conversion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Herm Edwards knew what was about to
happen, so he warned defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham to
get ready.

Trailing 10-3, the Saints scored their only touchdown of the
night on Jamaal Branch's 1-yard run with 2:08 left. Saints coach
Sean Payton elected to go for the win and not the tie, just as
Edwards had predicted.

Todd Bouman tossed the ball toward the corner of the end zone,
but defensive end Clint Mitchell batted it away at the goal line to
help the Chiefs escape with a 10-9 victory Thursday night in the
final preseason game for both teams.

"I knew he wold go for two when he got down there. That's what
you're supposed to do in the preseason," Edwards said. "You're
not supposed to go into overtime. I told Gun to get prepared for
two, and you knew it wasn't going to be a run. It would be a
pass."

Payton said he might have done something different if the game
counted.

"Obviously, in preseason, it is easier to make a decision," he
said. "In the regular season, I'd be more conservative and go for
a tie. It was, 'Let's give it a go."

McKenzie Smith scored on a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter
to give the Chiefs the lead in a game played almost entirely by
reserves.

"You can say it was sloppy and there were some times it looked
sloppy," Edwards said. "But I told the team that you've got to
win ugly games at times when you're not hitting on all cylinders.
It's easy to lose those types of games and then make an excuse."

Not a single first-team skill player got into the game for the
Chiefs (2-2), and Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush had only four
carries for New Orleans (1-3) as coaches used the game to check out
their backups.

Smith broke a 29-yard run to the 6 on fourth-and-1, and then
took it into the end zone with three straight carries, putting the
Chiefs on top 10-3 with 14:56 to go.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Saints' Lance Moore took Dustin
Colquitt's towering 63-yard punt on the seven, cut left and went 90
yards before a winded Colquitt knocked him out of bounds on the 3.

"That was my fault," Colquitt said. "I outkicked our
coverage. There are so many great athletes in this league, you have
to be careful about things like that."

But on third and goal from the 6, Bouman's pass was intercepted
at the goal line by Kris Griffin, giving the Chiefs the ball on the
2.

On New Orleans' next possession, Bouman's pass on fourth-and-3
from the 14 fell incomplete with 5:54 to go.

"There were some things I was encouraged with," Payton said.
"I was encouraged with our defense on third down. The punt returns
were encouraging."

The Saints will go into their season opener on Sept. 10 at
Cleveland with no passing touchdowns by the first-team offense.

Drew Brees, the free-agent quarterback from San Diego, was
8-of-12 for 78 yards. He was sacked once for an 8-yard loss. His
longest completion was 19 yards to Jamal Jones, who's looked good
while trying to catch on with a different team for the third year
in a row.

After a scoreless first quarter, Lawrence Tynes kicked a 27-yard
field goal to give the Chiefs a 3-0 lead. On third-and-5 from the
46, Damon Huard made his best play of the night, a perfectly thrown
33-yard strike to rookie Jeff Webb, who's been fighting for one of
the few remaining wide receiver jobs.

"I think Webb is going to make our team," Edwards said.

Bush, the No. 2 pick in this year's draft, carried four times
for 14 yards. For the preseason, Bush had what would amount to a
good rushing game -- 102 yards on 19 carries. He didn't score a
touchdown.

"This preseason I learned a lot, what you can and can't do,"
Bush said. "What is effective and what is not effective."

Huard was 6-for-9 for 66 yards.

Game notes
Brees was 31-for-50 for 396 yards during the preseason. ...
The closest the Saints came to scoring with Brees in the lineup was
on a 16-play drive on their second possession that ended in John
Carney's miss from 31 yards. ... In the third quarter, Carney
connected on a 46-yarder after Jamie Martin kept the drive alive
with a 15-yard pass to Chris Horn on third down.