On a night where the Steelers could have clearly cemented themselves as the best team in the AFC and therefore the league, the club looked ordinary in losing to a not nearly as good as 2009 Saints team 20-10 to fall to 5-2 on the year.
The loss puts the team in a tie with Baltimore in the AFC North, and based on the fact the Ravens beat the Steelers, it really means the Steelers find themselves in 2nd place in the division.
The team had their shots, as they allowed the Saints to build a 13-3 lead, but then finally found some offense in the 4th quarter that ended with a Rashard Mendenhall 38-yard TD run with over 10 minutes left to make it 13-10.
On the next Saints drive, they got to the Steelers 20, but on a 3rd-and-4 Bryant McFadden flew in and hit Drew Brees, who fumbled and LaMarr Woodley recovered it.
The Steelers seemed to have all the momentum, as they gained 14 yards in two plays to the 39, and then Ben Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller, who rumbled for 25 yards, but then coughed up the ball right into the hands of Darren Sharper, who took it to the Saints 45.
From there, the Steelers D couldn’t stop Brees and the Saints offense, as they quickly marched the distance, helped by a weak personal foul call on James Harrison. Instead of trying to run the clock out, the Saints put the dagger in, as Brees hit Lance Moore with an 8-yard score to make it 20-10.
Roethlisberger threw a pick on the next series to end any shot the Steelers may have had. The QB was 17-for-28 for 195 yards with a pick. His QB rating was 66.8.
Brees threw for 305 yards on going 34-for-44 with two TD’s and a pick.
The Steelers appeared to go up 7-0 after Ben hit Antwaan Randel El with a 12-yard score early in the second quarter. He was ruled down at the one on the replay, and from there they couldn’t get a yard and settled for a 19-yard Jeff Reed field goal.
Then after the Saints tied it, Ryan Clark picked off Brees near the end of the half, but a weak push off call on Hines Ward cost the Steelers 10 yards, and they had to settle for a 51-yard field goal attempt by Reed, which was missed.
The Saints got a field goal and TD to go up 10 before the frantic comeback fell short. The Steelers continue their run on prime time, as they play the Bengals on Monday night next week.