Steelers vs. Saints Preview, Score and More
The Saints (4-3) chances to repeat are not yet circling the drain, but they are worn down by injuries and the lack of a threatening running game. The defending champions, following a shocking loss to the then 1-5 Browns, are no longer as feared a team.
The Steelers (5-1) are a feared team. They have already knocked off two NFC South teams, the Falcons and Bucs, and they did it without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh is not the sort of team that is going to let a frothing crowd in the Superdome distract them.
Can Drew Brees throw 50 passes and beat Pittsburgh?
Who: Pittsburgh (5-1) vs. New Orleans (4-3)
Where: Louisiana Superdome
When: Sunday, 8:20 ET
TV Coverage: NBC
Players to Watch: New Orleans safety Darren Sharper. The Saints turnover ratio has turned upside down from last season. They need to make some plays on defense. DT Sedrick Ellis. The Steelers average 118 yards per game. Ellis needs to continue playing well and not let Pittsburgh pound them. Saints center Jonathan Goodwin. He injured his groin against the Browns, who beat him up with their 3-4 defense. He has to rebound this week against Pittsburgh and its 3-4 nose Casey Hampton. Goodwin will need help from his guards. WR Lance Moore. The Saints are going to borrow from the Eagles and try and get some run yards with misdirection and reverses to Moore.
Pittsburgh corner Ike Taylor is a New Orleans native and one of the most under-rated players in the game. New Orleans won't be able to take shots down field, but they will work underneath with Lance Moore and Marques Colston. RB Rashard Mendenhall. He needs to run the ball, but he also needs to pass protect because the Saints are desperate to make things happen with pressure. DE Ziggy Hood. It will be the first start of his NFL career for the former first-round pick from Missouri. Can he apply some pressure to the pocket and attract an extra blocker so a LB can get a sack? DE Brett Keisel. He might not play. Steelers run D not as formidable with both starting defensive ends out.
Line: Saints by 1