What went right, wrong vs. Saints

* Through the Saints first two offensive possessions, the Steelers got some decent pressure on Drew Brees even though they didn't manage any sacks. On a third-and-6 24-yard line on that second possession, Cam Heyward hit Brees as he was in the act of throwing the ball to an open Kenny Stills, but the ball was overthrown and New Orleans had punted twice in the game's first 10 minutes.

  • On first-and-10 from their own 27-yard line with 5:05 left in the first quarter, the Steelers got lucky. On an attempted quick bubble screen to Antonio Brown, Saints CB Patrick Robinson read the play perfectly and had the pass hit him right in the chest with nothing but open grass in front of him. Robinson dropped the ball.
  • On the kickoff following Drew Brees' first of two touchdown passes in the first half, Markus Wheaton returned it 41 yards to the Pittsburgh 43-yard line. It was the Steelers' longest kickoff return of the season.
  • New Orleans received the second half kickoff, and on their first third-down situation of the quarter, Cam Heyward tipped Drew Brees' pass at the line of scrimmage to cause it to flutter incomplete.
  • The Steelers offense responded to the third New Orleans touchdown with a 13-play, 83-yard touchdown drive that made the score 21-13 with 4:21 remaining in the third quarter. On the drive, Ben Roethlisberger completed 5-of-7 for 65 yards, and Le'Veon Bell's 1-yard run accounted for the touchdown.
  • It was an unlikely conversion, but a conversion nonetheless. On a third-and-20 from the Pittsburgh 23-yard line, Ben Roethlisberger completed a short pass to Markus Wheaton, who turned it into an 11-yard gain. But Saints CB Corey White was flagged for grabbing the facemask, and the Steelers continued a drive that would end with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown.
  • Le'Veon Bell became the first Steelers running back to crack the 1,000-yard barrier in a season since Rashard Mendenhall did it in 2010. Bell, who finished the game with 95 yards on 21 carries (4.5 average) went over 1,000 for the season with a 16-yard run late in the first quarter.

* Brice McCain broke up a third-and-10 pass that was intended for Marques Colston. On the next play, McCain was blocking the Saints gunner along the sideline closest to the Steelers bench when he pulled up with an injury to his right hamstring. His return to the game was characterized as questionable.

The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the New Orleans Saints in Week 13 at Heinz Field.

  • The Steelers' run defense sprung a leak midway through the second quarter and the Saints took advantage on the drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Benjamin Watson to take a 7-6 lead with 6:04 left in the first half. On the three plays preceding the touchdown, the Saints rushed for 45 yards, with Pierre Thomas getting 13 and Mark Ingram totaling 32.
  • On the series following the Saints touchdown, the Steelers turned the ball over for the first time on the afternoon. Ben Roethlisberger tried to get the ball deep to Darrius Heyward-Bey. But the receiver was double-covered, and safety Kenny Vaccaro intercepted the ball in the end zone.
  • The Steelers lined up to attempt a 54-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. The snap came back low, and Shaun Suisham never had a real shot to make what would have been the longest field goal of his NFL career.
  • In the first quarter, the Saints offense that came into the game leading the NFL in third-down conversion percentage was 0-for-2. But in the second quarter, the Saints were 3-for-4 on third down and they scored two touchdowns to take a 14-6 halftime lead.
  • At the end of the first half, Ben Roethlisberger had completed 8-of-22 for 115 yards, with no touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 35.2.
  • On the Steelers opening possession of the second half, Ben Roethlisberger's first pass was a 11-yard completion to Heath Miller. His second, on the next play, was batted into the air by DE Cameron Jordan and then intercepted by Jordan, whose return gave the Saints the ball at the Steelers 15-yard line.
  • Two plays after Cameron Jordan's interception, Drew Brees threw his third touchdown pass – an 11-yarder to Nick Toon – to up the Saints lead to 21-6 with 11:25 remaining in the third period.
  • It was a third-and-10 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, and the Steelers had the Saints pinned at their own 31-yard line in a games in which they trailed by 21-13. WR Kenny Stills ran and out-and-up route on Ike Taylor and was all alone when Drew Brees hit him with the pass that turned into a 69-yard touchdown that restored the New Orleans lead to 28-13.
  • It looked like the Steelers defense was going to get off the field with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter after Vince Williams sacked Drew Brees back to midfield on what started as a third-and-3 from the Pittsburgh 42-yard line. But Antwon Blake was flagged for holding, which gave the Saints a first down, and then three plays later New Orleans got a fifth touchdown pass from Brees – to Marques Colston – to take a 35-16 lead with 10:25 remaining in the fourth quarter.
  • The Steelers defense did force a New Orleans punt with 5:54 remaining in the game, but Thomas Morstead got off a 55-yard kick that rolled dead at the Pittsburgh 5-yard line.
  • Another stop for the Steelers defense, albeit in garbage time, and another clutch punt by Thomas Morstead. This time it was a 49-yard punt that was downed at the Pittsburgh 2-yard line.
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