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Starters have big game in Steelers win over Saints

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Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones combined to complete 31 of 39 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers beat the Saints 27-14 in preseason action.

A strong first quarter paved the way for the Pittsburgh Steelers to defeat the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 27-14, giving Pittsburgh its first win of the preseason.

Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes in the productive first quarter.

The first score was a five-yard pass over the middle to Penn State product Jesse James, after Roethlisberger evaded the rush.

The second touchdown was a 57-yard completion from Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown, who was able to reel the pass in while being interfered with by Saints rookie defensive back De’Vante Harris.

That drive was Roethlisberger’s last of the game before Landry Jones replaced him at quarterback.

Roethlisberger finished the game completing 12 for 17 passes for 148 yards and two scores.

In the second quarter, the Saints closed the gap to 14-7 after Drew Brees completed a 17-yard pass to second-year receiver Willie Snead, despite being blanketed by three Pittsburgh defenders.

Brees handed the keys to the New Orleans offense to veteran backup quarterback Luke McCown after his touchdown to Snead.

Brees completed nine of 12 passes on the day for 70 yards and a score.

Landry Jones extended the Steeler lead back to two scores by completing an eight-yard pass to Sammie Coates in the back-right corner of the endzone, after Coates beat his coverage.

Second-year quarterback Garrett Grayson, out of Colorado State University, replaced McCown at the half trailing 21-7.

Grayson threw his first touchdown of the preseason completing a 31-yard pass while moving outside the pocket to rookie receiver Tommylee Lewis.

However, the seven-point deficit was the closest New Orleans would come to Pittsburgh’s lead, as Chris Boswell tacked on a field goal in the third and fourth quarters.

Jones ended the game 19 of 22 passes for 206 yards and a score.

Le’Veon Bell (21 yards) led the Steelers on the ground, despite only having three rush attempts.

Bell also fumbled the ball late in the first quarter.

Brown led the Steelers with four receptions for 87 yards, although Bell led the team with five receptions.

Pittsburgh will travel to Carolina to face the Panthers Thursday night for its final preseason contest before opening the regular season on the road against the Washington Redskins Sept. 12.

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