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New Orleans Saints in Must Win Situation at Pittsburgh

The NFC South New Orleans Saints rarely start a game as clear underdogs like they are Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, the Saints are 4-7 on the season and 0-3 this season against the AFC North. The Saints have yet to win during November and since 1987 are winless in Pittsburgh.

That simply means the Saints must turn some things around in an attempt to put themselves back on track against a Steelers team that is 7-4 and battling for first in the AFC North.

The Saints will be facing Ben Roethlisberger, one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL, with its struggling defense.

The Steelers quarterback has a favorite target in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell the starting running back is a threat both on the ground and receiving the ball out of the backfield.

At home, Roethlisberger has averaged over 361 yards a game this season and has 18 touchdown passes with only one interception.

The Saints will have Keenan Lewis their top cornerback back to nearly 100% for the game. However, the rest of the embattled secondary of New Orleans will have a difficult time with the Steelers deep threats.

New Orleans will need big improvement from its pass rush, which to date is only consistent in being inconsistent.

Without a solid rush from the four down linemen, the Saints secondary will have a long game with Roethlisberger in the pocket picking out his receivers.

Offensively, the Saints must use the Steelers lack of a pass rush to their advantage.

However, last Monday against Baltimore, the offense line for New Orleans arguable played its worst game of the season. Drew Brees was sacked on four occasions and hit hard when throwing an interception that was returned for a Ravens touchdown.

New Orleans might find some success running the ball on the Steelers. However, Pittsburgh is no slouch against the run with its 3-4 front that is big and physical.

New Orleans might be in a tie for first place in the NFC South at just 4-7, but on the road New Orleans has struggled. The Saints are 1-4 this season away from home and 3-10 over their last 13 games on the road.

Adding to problems for New Orleans could be a steady rain and wind making the thicker grass at Heinz field that much more difficult for the Saints to navigate.

Regardless, of the weather and field conditions, the Saints must find a way to win or jeopardize falling out of a three-way tie for first in the NFC South.

Prediction: Pittsburgh’s defense will slow the New Orleans enough to give their offense the opportunities to score. I like Pittsburgh at home 28-21.

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