Grading the game


Statistically, it was a pretty good afternoon, but the grade is dragged down considerably by three turnovers. The Saints were 10-of-16 in third-down efficiency and 1-of-1 on fourth-down conversions. They finished with 517 total yards. Rushing was improved (124 yards on 29 carries, a 4.3 per-carry average) and rookie Reggie Bush appeared to be running more straight ahead than he had in the first eight games. His third-quarter fumble, though, badly tarnished a serviceable performance that included his first offensive touchdown, a 15-yard score on a reverse. Drew Brees again was nearly flawless, avoiding the Pittsburgh rush on several occasions by moving up into the pocket (he was sacked just once) and was 2 yards shy of a 400-yard day. The Saints didn't seem to miss injured wide receiver Joe Horn (groin), who was inactive for the second straight week.

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