What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong at the Saints

The highs and lows of the Steelers matchup vs. the New Orleans Saints.

COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It's tails. Steelers elect to receive.

4:29 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After receiving the opening kickoff, the Steelers managed one first down – on a 15-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster – but then the next three plays gained just 3 more yards. Jordan Berry’s 57-yard punt sailed into the end zone, and the Saints started on their own 20-yard line.

4:38 p.m. – What Went Right: Under the category of “the other team has coaches, too,” Sean Payton replaced Drew Brees with Taysom Hill after Brees completed 2-for-2 for 23 yards. Hill attempted to get the ball deep to Ted Ginn, but Sean Davis intercepted in the end zone. His 27-yard return plus a personal foul penalty on Josh Hill gave the Steelers the ball at their own 40-yard line.

4:45 p.m. – What Went Right: After Sean Davis’ interception, the Steelers moved 29 yards in nine plays to get into position for a 49-yard field goal attempt. Chris Boswell made the kick, and the Steelers had 3-0 lead with 5:32 remaining in the first quarter.

4:54 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It was a fourth-and-1 from the Steelers 34-yard line. Looking for someone to throw the ball to, Drew Brees finally settled on a deep attempt into the end zone for running back Alvin Kamara. The pass was incomplete, but the Saints got a gift pass interference call on Haden that put the ball on the 1-yard line. On the next play, Mark Ingram scored to give the Saints a 7-3 lead with 2:57 left in the first quarter.

5:08 p.m. – What Went Wrong; The possession netted points and cut into their deficit, but the Steelers settled for a red zone field goal after a 49-yard catch and run by Vance McDonald put the Steelers inside the New Orleans 15-yard line. The Steelers trailed, 7-6, with 14:05 remaining in the first half.

5:18 p.m. – What Went Wrong: This is why a team trying to defeat the Saints cannot settle for red zone field goals. New Orleans answered the Steelers field goal with an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that was aided by a 22-yard pass interference penalty on Morgan Burnett and capped by Alvin Kamara’s 8-yard run for the score. The Saints led, 14-6, with 10:22 remaining in the first half.

5:52 p.m. – What Went Right: This was the perfect possession. It took 15 plays and covered 97 yards and ate up 6:04 of game time and ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Samuels and then a two-point conversion pass to Eli Rogers. The score was tied, 14-14, with 40 seconds left in the first half.

5:58 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After that long scoring drive, the Steelers defense allowed a quick 50 yards on four plays, and then Will Lutz’s 43-yard field goal with two seconds left gave the Saints a 17-14 lead that they carried into the locker room at halftime. The big play on the drive was a 31-yard pass to Alvin Kamara.

6:22 p.m. – What Went Wrong: That field goal the Steelers allowed at the end of the first half loomed large when the Saints took the second half kickoff and drove 75 yards in 11 plays and then took a 24-14 lead on a 1-yard run by Alvin Kamara with 9:13 left in the third quarter. The big play on the drive was a 42-yard catch-and-run by Kamara in which he eluded Sean Davis and then got up the sideline.

6:35 p.m. – What Went Right: The Saints couldn’t figure out how to deal with the Steelers when they went empty set with five receivers. Ben Roethlisberger completed 6-of-9 for 80 yards and a 3-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown to cut the deficit to 24-21 with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter. Brown caught three passes for 32 yards, and JuJu Smith-Schuster caught two for 35.

6:42 p.m. – What Went Right: After a first down on the first play of the possession, the Saints then went three-and-out, with sacks by T.J. Watt and Stephon Tuitt accounting for a combined loss of 13 yards. Following a 48-yard punt, the Steelers offense took over at the Pittsburgh 34-yard line with 2:38 left in the third quarter.

6:51 p.m. – What Went Right: Four plays after the Saints punt, the Steelers had a 28-24 lead thanks to a 20-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. The drive covered 66 yards in four plays, and all of the yards came via Ben Roethlisberger’s passing. There was 1:02 left in the third quarter following Chris Boswell’s kickoff.

6:57 p.m. – What Went Right: The defense again came through, this time with a three-and-out capped by Morgan Burnett breaking up a pass on third-and-2. Following the punt, the Steelers took over at their own 25-yard line with more than 14 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

7:04 p.m. – What Went Wrong: On a third-and-2 from the Saints 34-yard line, the Steelers tried to play a little power football, but it didn’t work. Stevan Ridley, running behind Rosie Nix was stopped for a 1-yard loss and then was ruled to have fumbled. The Saints recovered at their 35-yard line with 10:12 remaining.

7:13 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense allowed some yards, but then stiffened and forced a 50-yard field gal attempt by Wil Lutz. L.J. Fort broke through and blocked the kick and then recovered the ball at the Steelers 37-yard line with 6:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.

7:19 p.m. – What Went Wrong: A missed block by Jaylen Samuels led to a sack, and then an attempted fake punt came up short when Rosie Nix was stopped just short of the line to gain. The Saints took over at the Pittsburgh 46-yard line with 4:06 remaining and the Steelers holding a 28-24 lead.

7:37 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers had the Saints in a fourth-and-2 at the two-minute warning and appeared to get off the field when Joe Haden broke up a pass intended for Michael Thomas. But a very late penalty flag for pass interference gave the Saints a first down at the Pittsburgh 22-yard line. Drew Brees then hit Ted Ginn for a 25-yard gain to convert a third-and-20. Brees then hit Thomas for a 2-yard touchdown with 1:25 left in the fourth quarter. The Saints led, 31-28.

7:45 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Following the ensuing kickoff, the Steelers converted a fourth-and-15 with a 19-yard pass to Antonio Brown, But then four plays later, on a first down from the Saints 42-yard line with 41 seconds left, JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a short pass for an 8-yard gain, but the ball was stripped loose and recovered by Sheldon Rankins at the New Orleans 35-yard line. The Saints took a knee twice to end the game.

Final Score: Saints 31, Steelers 28

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