The New Orleans Saints, playing with an offensive line decimated by injuries and a defense hounded by penalties, dropped a 20-10 game to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday in Pittsburgh.
The loss dropped the Saints to 3-7 and the Steelers, who were coming off their bye, improved to 3-6.
"Performance that wasn't good enough, really in all phases," Coach Dennis Allen said. "We didn't play well enough, didn't get well enough."
The Saints played without two starters on the offensive line (Andrus Peat and Erik McCoy) and multiple defensive starters (Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Davenport, Marcus Maye and Pete Werner) and then lost left tackle James Hurst at the end of the first half. Landon Young replaced him, giving the Saints backups at left tackle, left guard and center.
The score was tied at 10 at the start of the third quarter but the Saints offense couldn't get on track with its make-shift line and the Steelers scored 10 points, a 33-yard Matthew Wright field goal and a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kenny Pickett. The Pickett score was set up by a pass interference penalty on cornerback Paulson Adebo in the end zone. It was one of 10 penalties for New Orleans, good for 74 yards.
"We really didn't do anything in the second half," Allen said.
New Orleans had a season-high six sacks of Pickett, who finished 18 of 30 for 199 yards and eight carries for 51 yards.
Quarterback Andy Dalton was 17 of 27 for 174 yards with one touchdown and two second half interceptions. It was a tough day for running back Alvin Kamara as he carried eight times for 26 yards. Receiver Jarvis Landry, seeing his first action in more than a month, had three catches for 37 yards. Tight end Juwan Johnson had the team's lone touchdown, a 15-yarder at the end of the second quarter, one of five receptions. Rookie receiver Chris Olave had three catches for 40 yards. The Saints struggled on third down again (three for 12) which led to being dominated in time of possession (Steelers had the ball for nearly 39 minutes).
The Saints will play host to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Caesars Superdome.