Quarterback Drew Brees came alive in the second half to propel the New Orleans Saints to a 20-10 win over the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers at the Superdome Sunday night.
Tied 3-3 at the half, and struggling to find the end zone against the league’s top-scoring defense, the Saints decided that offensive balance was no longer their style.
Brees finished the game with 305 yards on 34-of-44 passing with two touchdowns and an interception, while the running game mustered just 30 yards on the night. With a completion percentage of 77.3 and a 101.0 quarterback rating, Brees showed the Saints faithful that he still has some of what he displayed last season left over, as the Saints capitalized on Steeler turnovers to take charge in the second half.
After the Saints drove down the field for a field goal on their first second-half possession to take a 6-3 lead, the Steelers turned the ball over on downs on their first possession. The Saints took advantage with a 10-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Marques Colston.
The Steelers would come back with a 38-yard touchdown run from Rashard Mendenhall to pull within three at 13-10 at the start of the fourth quarter, but their next two possessions ended with a Heath Miller fumble and a Ben Roethlisberger interception to seal the deal for the Saints.
Brees and the Saints took advantage of Miller’s fumble, following it with an eight-play, 55-yard drive concluding with an eight-yard touchdown strike from Brees to Lance Moore.
Despite Julius Jones being the Saints’ leading rusher with just 16 yards, the Saints offense racked-up 318 total yards and 18 first downs.
From here, the Steelers head to Cincinnati to face the Bengals, who have lost four straight, while the Saints, who are currently third in the NFC South behind the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both 5-2, head to Carolina to face the 2-5 Panthers next Sunday.
The Saints improve to 5-3, while the Steelers fall to 5-2, tied with the Baltimore Ravens atop the AFC North.
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