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Saints vs. Steelers Final Score: Saints Surprise Steelers 35-32 in Pittsburgh

The Saints lose the games they're expected to win, and win the games they're expected to lose. So they beat the Steelers 35-24 Sunday, of course.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Who is this team? The New Orleans Saints surprised their fans and the Steelers with a 35-24 road win in Pittsburgh Sunday thanks to a vintage five-touchdown performance by Drew Brees and great play by the Saints secondary. The Saints were actually impressive in all phases of the game this afternoon, a stark contrast from the previous three games.

If the Falcons lose to the Cardinals this afternoon, the Saints will have sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

Here's how it all went down:

1st Quarter

  • Steelers start with the ball.
  • 3rd and 7 - The Steelers complete a pass to Antonio Brown for 8 years and the first down. Of course.
  • Keenan Lewis makes a week tackle attempt on Martavis Bryant.
  • Saints eventually force the punt. They stopped a third down! Hallelujah.
  • Nick Toon drops a pass. Not the way to work yourself into the lineup.
  • 3rd and 10 - Marques Colston drops a pass he probably should have caught.
  • Le'Veon Bell begins gashing the Saints defense for 12 yard and 18 yard runs.
  • Saints defense gets the stop on 3rd and 9. Defense not actually look too bad.
  • Steelers make 49-yard field goal (barely) to open the scoring at 3-0.
  • 3rd and 6 - Brees lobs a pass a bit too far for a wide open Kenny Stills streaking up the middle of the field. Could have been a long touchdown if completed.
  • Patrick Robinson jumps the route on a screen pass but fails to make the interception. Would have been a  beautiful play and probably a sure touchdown.
  • Roethlisberger appears to hurt his throwing hand after taking a hit.
  • Lance Moore makes a 4-yard catch and picks up the first down on 3rd and 3.
  • Le'Veon Bell has 71 rushing yards in the first quarter.

2nd Quarter

  • Patrick Robinson has good coverage on Antonio Brown in the end zone.
  • Corey White also makes a nice pass breakup in the end zone on 3rd down. Where did this cornerback play come from?
  • Sean Suisham makes another field goal. Steelers extend lead 6-0.
  • Saints and Steelers exchange punts.
  • Pierre Thomas picks up a much needed first down with a sweet 13-yard run.
  • Mark Ingram follows that up with two consecutive big runs of 20 yards and 12 yards.
  • Ben Watson catches a wide open touchdown pass to cap off a great 8-play offensive series. Saints now lead 7-6.
  • The Steelers go deep to the end zone but Kenny Vaccaro comes up with it instead for the interception! Touchback for the Saints.
  • Saints offense begins moving the ball well again.
  • 3rd and 6 - Brees hits Kenny Stills for a 44-yard completion right before the 2-minute warning.
  • Erik Lorig catches a quick dump off pass and picks up the 4-yard touchdown, his first with the Saints. Saints now lead 14-6 before the half.
  • Steelers move quickly down field to get into field goal range but Suisham misses a 53-yarder as time expires.

3rd Quarter

  • Saints start the second half with the ball. They go three and out.
  • Cam Jordan tips a pass up at the line of scrimmage and catches it for the interception. Saints take over at the Steelers 15-yard line. Unbelievable play!
  • Brees throws to Nick Toon, who spins and breaks a few tackles before finding the end zone for the touchdown. That is Nick Toon's first career touchdown pass. Saints lead 21-6.
  • Saints defense called for 12 men on the field penalty. Sean Payton and Rob Ryan are seen arguing on the sideline, confirming reports that the two "hate each other."
  • Steelers respond with an impressive drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run from Le'Veon Bell. Steelers cut the lead to 21-13.
  • Kenny Stills displays incredibly footwork on a 21-yard completion by dragging the tips of his toes on the sideline before going out of bounds.
  • Brees throws deep to wide open Kenny Stills for a 69-yard catch and run. Saints lead 28-13.
  • Roethlisberger has not looked sharp today, which may have to do with his throwing hand being injured earlier by Curtis Lofton.

4th Quarter

  • 3rd and 14 - Le'Veon Bell can't come down with the pass.
  • Steelers settle for another field goal. Saints still leading 28-16.
  • Kenny Stills makes a good catch along the sidelines that was initially ruled incomplete but overturned following a Payton challenge.
  • Colston drops another pass that should have been caught. He's just not the same player this season.
  • Mark Ingram explodes through the line and breaks off a 31-yard run to the Steelers 6-yard line. A personal foul penalty on Ike Taylor puts the Saints even closer.
  • Marques Colston catches the easy 3-yard touchdown to increase the Saints lead to 35-16.
  • Patrick Robinson drops another potential interception. At least they're getting opportunities.
  • 4th and 10 - A completion to Markus Wheaton is initially rules a first down. Payton challenges and the call is reversed. Saints take over on downs.
  • Drew Brees has completions to 9 different receivers today.
  • Cam Jordan tips another pass at the line of scrimmage. Then gets a sack on Ben Roethlisberger.
  • Patrick Robinson makes two impressive pass breakups in the end zone.
  • Antonio Brown eventually catches a short touchdown pass over the middle for the score. The Steelers convert the subsequent 2-point conversion. Saints still up 35-24.
  • Saints punt away on their final possession of the game.
  • The game ends with an Antonio Brown touchdown catch as time expires, followed by a Lance Moore two-point conversion.

Top Performers

D. Brees 19/27 257 5 0
M. Ingram 23 122 0 31
P. Thomas 3 21 0 13
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
K. Stills 5 162 1 69T
N. Toon 2 17 1 11T
P. Thomas 2 16 0 13
B. Roethlisberger 32/58 435 2 2
L. Bell 21 95 1 18
B. Roethlisberger 1 8 0 8
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
H. Miller 8 82 0 23
A. Brown 8 97 2 21
L. Bell 8 159 0 48

Team Stats

First Downs 20 36
Total Yards 393 538
Passing Yards 250 435
Rushing Yards 143 103
Penalties (Yds) 11(77) 5(28)
Turnovers 0 2
Punts (AVG) 6(46) 2(38)
Time of Pos. 26:01 33:59