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New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers: notebook

The Saints improve to 5-7

With Sunday's win, New Orleans improves to 5-7 and, prior to the late Falcons-Cardinals matchup, are ahead of the 4-7 Falcons in the NFC South. The Saints will host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is noon CST.

New Orleans now leads Pittsburgh in the all-time series 8-7, with their first victory in the Steel City since a 20-16 win on November 29, 1987 at Three Rivers Stadium. It makes the Steelers one of seven NFL clubs they have all-time winning records against, including the Buffalo Bills (6-4), the Detroit Lions (11-10-1), the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2), the Houston Texans (2-1), the Indianapolis Colts (6-5) and the Oakland Raiders (6-5-1).

New Orleans converted on all four red zone opportunities.

QB Drew Brees completed 19 of 27 passes for 257 yards, five touchdowns and a passer rating of 140.0. It's Brees' ninth career five touchdown game, tied for first in NFL record books with Peyton Manning.

Brees now has 390 career touchdowns, as he moved out of a tie for fourth place all-time in touchdown passes with New England's Tom Brady.

Brees started and appeared in the 139th game of his Saints career today, moving into a tie with DE Will Smith for 14th on the club's all-time games played list.

It was Brees' 69th career game with the Saints with a 100 or better passer rating (min. 10 attempts), the most by an NFL signal-caller since 2006. The Saints have posted a 57-12 record in those games.

WR Marques Colston had three receptions for 16 yards with a three-yard TD grab in the fourth quarter. Colston now has 8,971 career receiving yards as he surpassed Roy Green (1979-92) and Wes Chandler to move into 59th place on the NFL's all-time list for receiving yardage. It was the 66th touchdown reception of Colston's career, all with Brees. Brees and Colston took sole possession of sixth place in NFL record books for touchdown connections between a quarterback-receiver combination.

RB Mark Ingram had 23 carries for 122 yards. It was Ingram's fourth 100-yard performance of the season, the most by a Saint since Deuce McAllister had four in 2006.

WR Nick Toon's third quarter 11-yard touchdown reception was the first of his career.

WR Kenny Stills had five receptions for a team-high and career-high 162 yards, including a 44-yard grab in the second quarter, a third quarter 21-yard grab and a third quarter 69-yard touchdown grab on the same drive to put the Saints up 27-13. On the season Stills has 45 receptions for 701 yards and three touchdowns with career-highs in both catches and receiving yardage.

TE Benjamin Watson had a second quarter 15-yard touchdown reception to put New Orleans up 7-6.

RB Pierre Thomas played in his 102nd career game today, moving him into a tie for 44th place on the club's all-time games played list with DE Bruce Clark, WR Joe Horn and RB Wayne Wilson. On New Orleans' first play from scrimmage he had a 13-yard reception and he finished with two receptions for 16 yards. He also had three rushes for 21 yards, including a 13-yard run on third-and-two carry for a first down.

FB Erik Lorig had a second quarter four-yard touchdown reception, his first scoring grab as a Saint.

In the final minute of the first half of games this year, New Orleans has scored five touchdowns and kicked two field goals.

G Jahri Evans played in and start in the 138th game of his career today, moving into a tie with C John Hill for 16th on the club's games played list

T Zach Strief played in the 121st game of his career today, moving him into sole possession of 27th place on the club's all-time games played list.

The Saints have scored a touchdown in 141 consecutive regular-season games, the third-longest streak in NFL history. The Saints' streak began with the last game of the 2005 season. The Cleveland Browns (166, 1957-69) and San Diego Chargers (151, 2002-10) are the only teams with longer streaks.

DE Cameron Jordan had six tackles (one solo) and a third quarter interception, the first pick of his career. It was the first interception by a Saints defensive lineman since a pick by DE Will Smith at Dallas on November 25, 2010. Jordan also added a fourth quarter sack and two passes defensed.

ILB Curtis Lofton had 10 tackles (seven solo) to tie for the team lead in stops.

Lofton played in his 108th consecutive contest. He has never missed a game in his NFL career and his 108 straight games currently ranks first among active NFL linebackers (Green Bay's Julius Peppers also is expected to play his 108th straight in the late game). Lofton has also started 95 consecutive contests, tied for the longest current streak with the New York Jets' David Harris, whose team plays on Monday night.

ILB David Hawthorne led New Orleans with 10 solo tackles, tying for the team lead in total stops with Lofton.

S Kenny Vaccaro finished tied for third on New Orleans with eight tackles (five solo) and now has 98 stops for the season, surpassing his 2013 rookie total of 93. He also recorded his second interception of the season.

CB Patrick Robinson had five tackles (four solo) and tied a career-high with three passes defensed.

P Thomas Morstead punted six times for 291 yards with a 48.5 gross punting average and a 45.4 net, including a 55-yard punt in the fourth quarter that pinned the Steelers at their five-yard line, one of two punts downed inside the opponent 20-yard line.

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