The 4-7 Saints who have lost 3 straight games face off with the Steelers who have won 3 straight games on Sunday afternoon. The Saints have never been known as a defensive team. However after allowing 34 points to the Ravens they continued their season long stretch of not holding an opponent under 21 points. The Ravens have had a revolving door at running back but on this night they made Justin Forsett seem like Barry Sanders with 22 carries for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. When the defesne was able to get stops the team was unable to capitalize in several instances. Statistically quarterback Drew Brees had a fantastic game with 420 yards passing to go along with 3 touchdowns. Many of those yards came after the game was already decided as well as a late touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham. Brees and the rest of the offense appeared lethargic and did not go into a “hurry-up” offense until it was too late. The team is lucky to be in the worst division in football with a 4-7 record they are incredibly still tied for first place. If they end up losing the division this will be one of many game that they look back on with deep regret. Running back Mark Ingram was inexplicably absent from the action with only 11 carries for 27 yards. Kenny Stills had a big day receiving with 8 catches for 98 yards ad Marques Colston had 4 for 82 yards. Graham didn’t have many catches or yards but he did have two touchdown grabs.
The Steelers have had an odd season in which they have beaten the really good teams that they have faced; yet they lose to inferior opponents. At times last week it looked like that trend may continue against the 2-8 Titans. However they were able to shut Tennessee out in the fourth quarter while scoring two unanswered touchdowns in the teams 27-24 win. Running back Leveon Bell was the star of the game with 33 carries for 204 yards and a touchdown. He carried the load so much that backup running back only saw the field for two plays and ended up leaving the field early, which resulted in him getting released. Roethlisberger was 21/32 for 207 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers proved they could still win a game without a dominant performance from their quarterback. Antonio Brown continued his pro bowl season with 9 catches for 91 yards and the game winning touchdown pass.
The Saints would be playing for nothing in most seasons but thanks to the poor performance form the rest of the division; every game from here on out will hold playoff implications. Pittsburg took a big step in the right direction last week by showing they could still run the ball consistently and win. In a matchup of two elite quarterbacks whoever can limit turnovers will give his team a huge advantage.
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