Saints vs Steelers – Game Recap – November 13, 2022

PITTSBURGH — — Kenny Pickett and George Pickens ran for one-yard touchdowns and the Pittsburgh Steelers edged away from the listless New Orleans Saints 20-10 on Sunday.

Fueled by the return of star outside linebacker TJ Watt, the Steelers (3-6) held the Saints to 186 yards to win for only the second time in eight games. Pittsburgh fired Andy Dalton twice and forced a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions to thwart any hopes of a late Saints rally (3-7).

Watt hadn’t played since tearing his left pectoral at the end of a Week 1 win over Cincinnati. Pittsburgh’s defense sometimes seemed lost without the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He returned to training two weeks ago and stressed that all of his team’s pre-season goals were still achievable even after the team’s worst start since 2013.

There’s a lot of work left for the Steelers to get out of their first half funk. They came up with a formula against the Saints that lacked fireworks but made up for in effectiveness.

Pittsburgh rushed for a season-high 217 yards — including 99 by Najee Harris and 51 by Pickett — and failed to turn it over for the third time this season. The Steelers are 3-0 in those games and 0-6 when giving it away at least once.

Pickett completed 18 of 30 passes for 199 yards without an interception. He also shrugged off a twisted left ankle to convert some stealth from the late quarterback, including a 1-yard dive with 8:40 left that gave the Steelers a 10-point lead.

The Saints, hoping to stay in the mix in the disappointing NFC South, spat while giving up their second straight.

Andy Dalton connected on 17 of 27 for 174 yards with a touchdown and two late picks. The first, a deflection trapped by recently activated Steelers safety Damontae Kazee, set up Pickett’s touchdown run. The second — which came a series after Dalton was stuffed with a sloppy quarterback — allowed the Steelers to seal it.

The saints fought extensively. Although the defense sacked Pickett six times, they also committed six penalties that gave the Steelers a first down, including a pass interference call against Paulson Adebo in the end zone that set up Pickett’s score. New Orleans has been flagged 10 times for 74 yards in total, compared to just three penalties for the Steelers.

Errors and a revived running game in Pittsburgh allowed the Steelers to hold the ball for nearly 39 minutes and keep their defense rejuvenated.

INJURIES

Saints: Lost LT Hayden Hurst to concussion.

NEXT

Saints: Host the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.

Steelers: Welcome to Cincinnati next Sunday. Pittsburgh edged the Bengals in overtime in Week 1.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP–NFL

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