(Sunday, October 31st)
Final Score: New Orleans 20, Pittsburgh 10
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, including an eight-yard score to Lance Moore with 2:37 remaining, as the New Orleans Saints took down the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-10, in a clash between the past two Super Bowl winners from the Superdome.
Brees completed 34-of-44 passes for 305 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception for the Saints (5-3), who bounced back from a 30-17 loss to the Browns last weekend.
"We knew what a big game this was," Brees said. "We were playing the Pittsburgh Steelers who are arguably one of the best teams in the NFL coming in here Halloween night on Sunday Night football. It couldn't get any bigger. It was a way to get back on track by beating these guys. We played as complete of a football game as we have played all year."
Moore caught seven passes for 54 yards with a TD and Marques Colston hauled in six passes for 75 yards and a score for New Orleans, which was without running backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. That led to the Saints compiling just 30 rushing yards on Sunday night.
Ben Roethlisberger connected on 17-of-28 passes for 195 yards and an interception for the Steelers (5-2), who had won two in a row.
Rashard Mendenhall carried the ball 15 times for 71 yards and a touchdown.
"It was a hostile environment for us. The fans were into it," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "We struggled a little bit on possession downs because of it, but that's no excuse. They (the Saints) did a nice job. We knew that this was going to be a tough place to play coming into it. I was hopeful that we would perform better than we did."
Trailing 13-3 early in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh finally scored its first touchdown of the game. Receptions from Matt Spaeth, Hines Ward and Mike Wallace set up the Steelers at the 38 of the Saints. Mendenhall then sprinted down the right sideline and into the end zone to cut the gap to 13-10 with 10:48 left.
A 50-yard pass from Brees to Robert Meachem helped New Orleans get to the 26 of the Steelers. On third down, Bryant McFadden came off the edge and sacked Brees, who lost the football to Pittsburgh's LaMarr Woodley.
On the third play of the ensuing Steelers drive, Heath Miller caught a 25-yard pass. He also lost control of the football, and Darren Sharper recovered for the Saints with 6 1/2 minutes to play.
New Orleans essentially sealed the victory with a touchdown. On 3rd-and-8 from the 18 of the Steelers, Brees found a wide open Moore over the middle for a 10-yard gain. Moore then caught a perfect pass between two defenders in the end zone for a 20-10 lead with 2:37 to go.
Roethlisberger was then picked off by Leigh Torrence, who recorded his first career interception.
Following a scoreless first quarter that featured five punts, Pittsburgh put together a drive early in the second. Faced with a 3rd-and-4 from the New Orleans 12, Roethlisberger hooked up with Antwaan Randle El, who seemed to score a touchdown as he was brought down near the goal line. The Saints challenged the call, and it was determined that Randle El was brought down at the one-yard line. New Orleans' defense then came up big, stopping three runs by the Steelers to set up a 19-yard Jeff Reed field goal with 9:09 left until half.
Brees was picked off by Ike Taylor on New Orleans' second possession of the quarter. Pittsburgh was set up at the Saints' 36, but Ward was called for offensive pass interference a few plays into the drive. That eventually led to a missed 51-yard field goal attempt from Reed.
The Saints answered with a seven-play drive, which Garrett Hartley capped with a 31-yard field goal for a 3-3 game at the half.
New Orleans got the ball to start the second half and marched right down the field. Faced with a 3rd-and-1 from the five-yard line, Heath Evans caught a two-yard pass for a fresh set of downs. The Steelers were able to keep the Saints out of the end zone, but Hartley made a 23-yard field goal for a 6-3 lead with 8:24 remaining in the third.
Pittsburgh failed to convert a 4th-and-4 on its next possession, giving the Saints the ball at their own 41. New Orleans converted a trio of third downs during a 10-play drive. Meachem and Jeremy Shockey helped convert the first two third downs. On 3rd-and-1 from the 18 of the Steelers, Ladell Betts rushed for two yards. Colston caught a pass from Brees on the next play and snuck just inside the right pylon for a 13-3 margin with 12:55 to play in the fourth.
The all-time series is tied, 7-7...The Steelers' last win in New Orleans came in 1990...Pittsburgh defensive ends Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith were inactive...The Saints were without cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter...Roethlisberger became the second QB in franchise history with 20,000 passing yards (Terry Bradshaw, 27,989)...Meachem caught six passes for 76 yards...Julius Jones carried the ball seven times for a team-high 16 yards for the Saints...Wallace hauled in three passes for 43 yards for the Steelers...Pittsburgh had 108 rushing yards...A Guinness World Records representative confirmed that 17,777 people were dressed in Halloween costumes. It was the world's largest Halloween gathering ever, breaking the previous record of 508 people.
11/01 02:18:05 ET
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