The inconsistent 2014 season of the Pittsburgh Steelers continued on Sunday at Heinz Field and it ended with a 35-32 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 257 yards and five touchdowns in the win and wide receiver Kenny Stills caught five of those passes for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Brees, who connected with nine different players in the win, didn’t throw an interception Sunday and he was aided by a running game that produced 143 yards on 26 carries.
While the final score was close at the end, the game was pretty much over with 10:25 left in the fourth quarter after Brees connected with wide receiver Marques Colston from three yards out to put the Saints ahead 35-16.
Surprisingly, Saints Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham didn’t register a catch against the Steelers.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was very ineffective early on in the game as his passes were usual high or way off target. The Steelers signal caller threw two interceptions in the game but that number could’ve been much higher as Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson missed a few gift-wrapped throws in the game.
Roethlisberger injured his throwing hand early in the game, but never missed a play.
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in the loss and also caught eight passes for another 159 yards to finish with 254 yards from scrimmage.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown and tight end Heath Miller both had eight catches in the Steelers loss.
“I just finished addressing the team and really (an) unfortunate performance (and) not the type of performance we needed to secure victory,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said after the game. “The bottom line is we did not have enough cohesion at different points in the game to overcome our weaknesses to secure victory.”
By losing Sunday, the Steelers lost a golden opportunity to make a move in the jumbled-up AFC North as both the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens suffered loses in the early games.
The Steelers now have four games left in their season with two of those games coming against the Cincinnati Bengals, who extended their lead in the division Sunday with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Steelers will play the Bengals next Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.