The REAL Saints Stood UP, beat Steelers 20-10
Halloween night didn't cause any problems for the Saints who appeared to be reeling after last week's embarrassing loss to the lowly Cleveland Browns. It was a night of redemption and a defense that came alive thanks to two late turnovers including a game-sealing interception by cornerback Leigh Torrence off of Ben Roethlisberger. Earlier in the fourth quarter, safety Darren Sharper caught a fumble out of mid-air which stopped another big Steelers' drive.
The entire first half of the game was nothing more then a defensive challenge and both teams proved that they were up to the task. In the first quarter, the Saints ended up going 0-4 on third down conversions while the Steelers were 0-3. There was just no letting up by either team and they made it a point to keep the opposing at bay.
Pittsburgh finally broke through in the second quarter and put together a drive that looked as if it had ended in a sure touchdown, but a replay helped the Saints and showed that Hines Ward was down at about the 6-inch line. A big goal line stand by the Saints caused the Steelers to settle for a Jeff Reed field goal to go up 3-0.
It was the Steelers turn to hold after that as the Saints were driving down field in the final minutes, but had to settle for a field goal from Garrett Hartley and go into the half tied at three. The stats were paltry to say the least as both teams only had 119 yards total offense each.
After the third quarter was over, it was only 6-3 with the Saints on top and it appeared as if there was going to be another game settled by field goals. Then the offense of the Saints woke up. Robert Meachem had a 50-yard reception. Drew Brees passed for two touchdowns – one to Lance Moore and one to Marques Colston. And the Saints had 199 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter alone.
Going back to the defensive side of things though, the Saints harassed Roethlisberger the entire night. New Orleans chalked up three sacks, an interception, and held "Big Ben" only 195 passing yards and no touchdowns. It seemed as if defensive coordinator Gregg Williams broke out the old playbook from last season and proceeded to send some big time blitzes and keep the Steelers on their toes the entire evening.
Well, it worked.
There was almost no stopping the Saints' defense from doing as they pleased out there and that's even missing both starting cornerbacks in Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer due to injuries. Pittsburgh's lone touchdown came on a 38-yard rushing play by Rashard Mendenhall early in the fourth quarter after the Saints had built their first 10-point lead.
New Orleans really looked like the team that won the Super Bowl last year as the offense took a little bit to get going, but then came alive. The defense played exactly like they are capable of doing at full strength yet they had to do it with a number of back-ups and players even situated at different positions. There's still one more game before the Saints have a bye week and can allow a number of injuries to heal, but being at the midway point of the season at 5-3 and not 4-4 is a huge advantage.
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