After coming off of a bye-week, the Steelers host the Saints here in mid-November. As Steeler fans wait in anticipation, they can only fear being reminded of the last time the Pittsburgh faced off against New Orleans.
4 years ago and just before Christmas Day, Pittsburgh headed South to the Magic City, looking to take down the 12-2 Saints. After a strong start, but a slew of losses to be 8-5-1, the Steelers were looking to get back on track.
2018: Steelers vs Saints
The game started with offensive woes for Pittsburgh. The Steelers struggled to reach the end zone and only mustered two field goals as they sat losing 14-6. But towards the end of the first half, Jaylen Samuels caught a 3-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger, and a two-point-conversion tied it up at 14-14. Pittsburgh let up and the Saints took advantage to reach a 24-14 lead.
Pittsburgh came rallying back in the third quarter, scoring two straight touchdowns on two TD passes to Antonio Brown. Both the Steelers and Saint stalled towards the start of the fourth quarter. With 4:11 left at their own 42-yard-line, the Steelers were held at 4th & 5. Mike Tomlin called a gamble to go for a fake punt.
It didn’t work and the Saint scored a touchdown on the next drive. Down 31-28 and still with 1:45 left, Pittsburgh kept driving down the field and entered into Saints territory. Big Ben threw a pass to Juju Smith-Schuster and right as Juju crossed into field goal range, he fumbled the ball away, thus surrendering the game. The game was filled with many questionable calls by the referee’s but ultimately Pittsburgh had many failed opportunities to score.
Missing the playoffs for the first time since 2013, the game ignited the downfall of Antonio Brown’s tenure in Pittsburgh. Four years later, the Steelers would never be the same again.