The third week of preseason is typically seen as the dress rehearsal for the regular season. Based off of the performance Friday night, this could be another long season.
“It’s week three in the preseason, but our ability to protect and our ability to rush the passer are two things that if you watched the game that are very concerning.” Payton said of the Saints after a 27-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Superdome.
The Steelers started things off with a lengthy 15-play opening drive that ended with Ben Roethlisberger connecting with Jesse James to make it 7-0. One of the things that haunted the Saints all night was a lack of pressure on the QB.
“The consistency of whether it’s coming from the inside or if it’s coming outside” Payton said of the poor pass rush, “We’ve got to look at the rotation and look at who’s doing it.”
After the Steelers defense forced a three and out, Roethlisberger wasted no time scoring another touchdown with a short pass to Antonio Brown that went down the field and make it 14-0 about halfway through the first quarter.
The Saints tried to get back into the game after they recovered a fumble in the final seconds of the first quarter by Dannell Ellerbee. The Saints got on the board with a deep pass from Drew Brees to Willie Snead to cut the lead in half.
Sean Payton seemed pleased with how this play went down saying that “It was a good play, good second effort. The ball came loose and he was still able to track it.”
But the Steelers increased their lead late in the second quarter with a short pass to Sammie Coates to make it 21-7.
The score would remain the same until midway through the third quarter when Garrett Grayson connected with a deep ball to Tommylee Lewis to make it 21-14. The Steelers would respond on the very next drive with a 40-yard field goal from Chris Boswell to keep the Saints at bay.
Pittsburgh would put the game on ice after an interception off of a pass from Garrett Grayson led to another field goal, this time from 48 yards out from Boswell.
The Saints drop to 0-3 on the preseason and will wrap things up with a matchup with the Baltimore Ravens with kickoff scheduled for 7 pm.