Pittsburgh - The New Orleans Saints produced game-changing plays on offense and defense as they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-32 on Sunday at Heinz Field.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for five touchdowns - three to receivers who hadn't caught a TD pass this season - and no interceptions as the Saints beat the Steelers (7-5) for their second consecutive road win. Brees finished 19 of 27 for 257 yards and a 140.0 rating.
The win improved the Saints to 5-7 and ended a three-game losing streak. New Orleans is currently alone atop the NFC South pending the outcome of Atlanta's game against the Arizona Cardinals later Sunday.
Running back Mark Ingram had his fourth 100-yard game of the season as he rushed 23 times for 122 yards. Kenny Still had a career game for the Saints, catching five passes for 162 yards, incliuding a 69-yard TD reception in the third quarter which provided the Saints with some separation. It was the Saints' longest play of the season and the longest catch of his career. He also set a career high in receiving yards.
The Saints' defense made several game-changing plays, including interceptions by Kenny Vaccaro and Cameron Jordan that led to Saints touchdowns. Jordan, a defensive end, deflected a Ben Roethlisberger pass and then hauled in the interception. The Saints scored when Brees hit Nick Toon with an 11-yard touchdown pass. Toon broke several tackles to make it into the end zone in the right flat.
Marques Colston (3 yards), Ben Watson (15 yards) and Erik Lorig (4 yards) were the other Saints with touchdown catches. In a bit of an oddity, star tight end Jimmy Graham didn't have a reception.
While the Saints allowed Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell to run for 95 yards on 21 attempts and one touchdown, they harassed Roethlisberger into a tough outing although he put him some numbers once the game had been decided. The veteran Steelers quarterback was 32 of 58 for 435 yards two interceptions and two touchdowns, both of which came with the game already out of reach. Saints defenders nearly made two other picks and Jordan also had a sack
The Saints will play host to the Carolina Panthers next Sunday as they end the season with four consecutive NFC opponents, three from the NFC South.