For one night, the New Orleans Saints found a cure for their Super Bowl hangover.
Drew Brees passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns and the Saints defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-10 on Sunday night.
Brees was 20 of 22 for 191 yards in the second half, breaking open a defensive struggle in which no team scored a touchdown through the first three quarters.
Brees’ first TD went to Marques Colston for 16 yards and the second went for 8 yards to Lance Moore with 2:37 left.
Leigh Torrence then intercepted Ben Roethlisberger to seal it for the Saints (5-3).
Rashard Mendenhall had the only touchdown for Pittsburgh (5-2) on a 38-yard run in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger was 17 of 28 for 195 yards in a matchup of the past two Super Bowl champs.
The Saints struggled to run on a Steelers defense that came in ranked first in the NFL against the run and allowed New Orleans only 30 yards on the ground.
The Saints tried some trickery, to no avail. When they switched from a field goal to a passing alignment with backup quarterback Chase Daniel in the shotgun formation, Pittsburgh called timeout, and New Orleans decided to settle for Garrett Hartley’s 31-yard field goal to tie the game at 3.
In the third quarter, right tackle Zach Strief, who had reported as an eligible receiver, was wide open in the end zone, but was backpedaling and unable to jump high enough to snag a short pass Brees lobbed over his head. Again, New Orleans had to settle for a field goal to go up 6-3.
Late in the third quarter, the Saints ran a reverse in which it appeared Colston was supposed to pass. He bobbled the exchange, however, and decided to run with it for a minimal gain. The receiver redeemed himself later on that drive when he hauled in a 16-yard touchdown, running for the last few yards and reaching to get the ball over the pylon before he was bumped out of bounds.
The play capped a 10-play, 59-yard drive for the game’s first touchdown, giving New Orleans a 13-3 lead.