After knocking off the Patriots last week, the Steelers could make another big statement with an upset win over the Saints in Week 16.
Last Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers picked up a desperately-needed momentum swing.
They put an end to their three-game losing streak — and maintained their grasp on first place in the AFC North — by taking down Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 17-10 at Heinz Field. In the process, they conquered some inner demons that have plagued them for most of the last two decades against New England.
This week, they’ll have the chance to do one better when they head to New Orleans for a Week 16 showdown with the Saints, currently the top team in the NFC at 12-2.
Getting a win over Drew Brees and the Saints, in New Orleans nonetheless, would speak plenty about whether the Steelers are Super Bowl contenders. It would come as a pretty big upset as the Saints seem almost unbeatable at the Superdome, having not lost at home since Week 1.
However, New Orleans can fall victim to great defense. We saw just how vulnerable they can be three weeks ago on Thursday Night Football, when the Saints were completely stifled by the elite Dallas Cowboys defense in a 13-10 loss.
We saw what the Steelers (8-5-1) are capable of on defense last week, as they roughed up Brady and left him powerless to move his offense down the field. If they can apply that same pressure to Brees, they might be able to slow New Orleans down.
Luckily for the Steelers, they are catching the Saints on a short wee. New Orleans may also be lacking in momentum as well, having just narrowly escaped the dismal Carolina Panthers with a 12-9 win. Even though they came away as the victor, it wasn’t exactly a banner night for Brees.
Offensively, Pittsburgh will once again be without James Conner on Sunday. But if it can get another great game from rookie Jaylen Samuels, who rushed for 142 yards on 19 carries against New England, then the Steelers might just be brewing an upset in the Big Easy.