Had the Saints lost, the season would have been on its way to being over. Instead, they are 5-3 at the midpoint and they've got a game at Carolina next Sunday and a bye after that before beginning a stretch where they don't play a team that currently has a winning record until they go to Baltimore on Dec, 19.
"We have a reputation around here," Brees wanted it known. "We have high expectations. With the 4-3 start, especially since a couple of the losses were uncharacteristic of our brand of football. We were turning the ball over, having a lot of penalties and making stupid mistakes. It was really just about sticking together.
"Everyone outside our building had wanted to question us and ask what's wrong with the Saints. We knew what a big game this was. We were playing the Steelers coming in here on Halloween night on Sunday Night Football. It couldn't get any bigger, It was a way to get back on track by beating these guys, We played as complete of a football game as we have played all year."
"It was a tough environment for us tonight," said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. "We better get used to these kind of environments. It comes with the territory when you're trying to be world champs."
There's hope now that the Saints wont slip back to their struggles earlier this season, They have help on the way. Cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer and running backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas should be back from injuries soon. The Saints had to start rookie Patrick Robinson at a corner and safety Malcolm Jenkins at the other corner.
Robinson went down early with an injury and was replaced by Leigh Torrence, who intercepted Ben Roethlisberger's final pass to give the Saints a 20-10 victory. Torrence won't let that ball go.
What others had to say
Tim Layden, SI.com: "There was ample noise in this city on Sunday night and deep into Monday morning, because it was Halloween and that is something like a junior varsity Mardi Gras around here. There was music spilling out of the storefronts of every bar on Bourbon Street and the giddy thrum of a thousand vaguely drunken conversations, every voice trying to make itself heard over all the others until none are heard at all -- and it's just a seismic blur. It's like most nights here, but louder on some than others, and in particular when it seems like half the city is in costume.
"It was just past 11 p.m. when Saints quarterback Drew Brees slipped on his sportcoat, picked up his travel bag and walked across the team's locker room with a game ball under his arm. 'It's for my son,' said Brees. 'His first one.' That would be Brees' second son, Bowen, born 12 days earlier. The ball will eventually inscribed with the date of the game, and also the final score" SAINTS 20, STEELERS 10. That score represents survival for the defending Super Bowl champions. Big win? 'Oh man.' said Brees, shaking his head. In fact, that barely seemed to cover it."
Saints-Steelers postgame notes
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New Orleans Saints ? Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saints Postgame Notes
- The Saints improved to 5-3 in 2010. They now have a 7-7 all-time record against Pittsburgh. Including a Super Bowl XLIV triumph over Indianapolis, New Orleans has won nine of its last ten games against AFC opponents.
- QB Drew Brees completed 34 of 44 passes for 305 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and 101.0 passer rating. It was the 34th regular season game where Brees had a passer rating of 100 or more. New Orleans has a 26-8 record in these games. Brees now has 32,980 career passing yards, moving past Ken Anderson and Troy Aikman into 23rd all-time.
- WR Marques Colston finished with six receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. It was the second straight game where he had a score. Colston now has 211 career points, as he moved into tenth place on the club’s all-time list past FB Tony Galbreath.
- WR Robert Meachem enjoyed his most productive game of the season with six grabs for a team-leading 76 yards, including a season-long 50-yard catch.
- WR Lance Moore led the Saints in receptions with seven grabs for 54 yards. His fourth quarter 16-yard grab for a TD was his team-leading fifth of the season and gave New Orleans a 20-10 lead.
- The Saints defense held Cleveland to 279 total yards. The Saints have allowed 287.3 yards per game on the season. New Orleans entered Week 8 ranked third in the league in total defense.
- New Orleans allowed Pittsburgh to convert only three-of-ten third down attempts. The Steelers got into the red zone only once. The one time, came from a goal line stand, where following a successful challenge by New Orleans on a second quarter pass play, the ruling was reversed that the runner did not cross the plane. With the ball placed six inches from the goal line, the Saints defense was able to rebuff attempts by Pittsburgh on three occasions from getting into the end zone, forcing them to kick a field goal.
- S Darren Sharper had only one tackle, but his biggest contribution was his fourth quarter fumble recovery that he returned 11 yards that led to New Orleans’ final score and a 20-10 lead.
- S Malcolm Jenkins had five tackles (four solo) and a team-best three passes defensed as he started at cornerback with Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter sidelined.
- LBs Scott Shanle and Jonathan Vilma tied for the team lead with eight tackles apiece. Vilma also added a sack for a loss of 12 yards in the fourth quarter
- DE Will Smith had three tackles and shared a sack with S Pierson Prioleau and had a second quarter takedown of Roethlisberger. He now has 52 sacks as a Saint and has sole possession of fifth place in the club’s all-time record books. He also had a pass defense at the line of scrimmage on a possession near the end of the first half.
The Saints may have set a Guinness record in Halloween gatherings on Sunday night at the Superdome.
NBC Sports, which broadcast the game, was bringing in a Guinness adjudicator in an attempt to set a record. "Gathering" is defined in the record book as a "group of people in costume in one place."
According to the Guinness website, the current record of 508 costumed participants was set last year at a nightclub in Bloomington, Ind. The Superdome has a capacity of 68,000. Most of the fans were in costume of some sort.
NBC provided additional camera angles as part of its live stream of "Sunday Night Football."
by Ed Staton
Buy your Saints/LSU jerseys from LouisianaSportsTalk.com
Bayoubuzz Newsletter - Sign Up Below
Bayoubuzz Newsletter - Sign Up Below