This is the the kinda game that just leaves you pissed off for a couple of days. The Steelers offense was lifeless for most of the game, but woke up in the second half only to have the defense falter late. Turnovers, penalties, blown coverages. You name it, the Steelers did it in a 20-10 loss at New Orleans.
The defense confused Drew Brees during the first half, but the Saints QB embarrassed the Steelers in the 2nd half with a bunch of short passes and a couple of long ones. Troy Polamalu was beaten on a key third down and Brees was rarely pressured in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Brees ended up completing 34 out of 44 passes. (!!!!)
The Steelers offense didn’t show up until the second half, but a fumble by Heath Miller after a long reception late in the 4th quarter with the Steelers down by 3 ended what would have been a likely comeback bid. That wasn’t the only blown opportunity by Pittsburgh. The Steelers had 1st and goal from the 1 in the first half and ended up kicking a field goal. Later, Hines Ward was called for offensive pass interference on the goal line and the offense again settled for a field goal deep in New Orleans territory.
Even though I picked the Saints to win this week, it has been very troubling to watch the Steelers seemingly get worse as the season has wore on. The defense was historically dominating early in the year and they have been picked apart through the air for three weeks in a row. The offense hasn’t ran the ball well at all since Roethlisberger returned and the offensive line has been very inconsistent. Injuries are piling up as well.
It is just one game and it’s not a death blow by any means, but, quite frankly, New Orleans isn’t an elite team this year and the Steelers looked nothing but average in a big game.