Undaunted and undefeated heading into Pittsburgh, the New Orleans Sa
Undated (AP) _ Undaunted and undefeated heading into Pittsburgh, the New Orleans Saints left Three Rivers Stadium bewildered and beaten.
How could the NFL’s last team without a loss look so awful Sunday? The Steelers, digging back into the gloried past of the Steel Curtain, held the Saints to 49 yards rushing - 110 below their average - had five sacks and three interceptions in a 37-14 wipeout. It was the worst loss for the Saints (5-1) since 1990.
″If we’re not the NFL’s best defense, we’re right there,″ Pittsburgh cornerback Rod Woodson said. ″The NFC is supposed to be the black-and-blue conference, and the AFC is supposed to be a finesse conference, but I dare you to play the Steelers and say we’re not a physical team.″
Elsewhere, it was: Dallas 26, San Francisco 17; Phoenix 36, Washington 6; Kansas City 17, San Diego 14; the New York Giants 21, Philadelphia 10; Cleveland 28, Cincinnati 17; Houston 28, New England 14; and Detroit 30, Seattle 10.
On Monday night the Los Angeles Raiders are at Denver.
Teams with byes this weekend were Buffalo, Miami, Indianapolis, the New York Jets, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota.
Last Thursday night, Atlanta beat the Los Angeles Rams 30-24. Steelers 37, Saints 14
Pittsburgh (4-2) won its fourth in a row as its defense never let New Orleans get going. Woodson returned the first of his two interceptions 63 yards for a score to set the tone. Kevin Greene had two sacks.
″We were in his face all day,″ Woodson said of Saints QB Wade Wilson, who was 6-for-23 for 85 yards. ″If I were a quarterback, I’d be intimidated.″
The Steelers got two TDs from Barry Foster, who left with a bruised right shoulder. Backup Leroy Thompson ran for 101 yards and Gary Anderson kicked three field goals, making him 11-for-11 this year.
″It was a total 100 percent butt kicking,″ Saints coach Jim Mora said. ″No alibis, no excuses, we just got whipped.″ Cowboys 26, 49ers 17
In a rematch of the NFC championship game, Dallas won again. The Super Bowl champion Cowboys (4-2) won their fourth straight as Michael Irvin caught a career-high 12 passes for 168 yards, including a 36-yard scoring pass, and Eddie Murray kicked four field goals.
″When you catch a lot of balls in a win as big as today, in a game as big as today’s game, yeah, it feels great,″ Irvin said. ″We lose, that’s all for naught.″
San Francisco (3-3) scored on Eric Davis’s 47-yard return of Emmitt Smith’s fumble and Brent Jones’ 12-yard reception from Steve Young. Chiefs 17, Chargers 14
At San Diego, oldtimers Joe Montana and Marcus Allen lifted the Chiefs (5-1) to their best start in 22 years. Montana directed a nine-play, 80- yard drive that Allen capped with a 1-yard run with 1:57 left. Allen also scored on a 15-yard pass from Montana, who was 21-for-39 for 284 yards.
″When your leader doesn’t show any signs of concern, why should you?″ Allen said.
San Diego (2-4), losers of three in a row and seven straight to Kansas City, went ahead 14-10 on John Friesz’s 4-yard pass to Anthony Miller, set up by rookie Darrien Gordon’s 54-yard punt return. Cardinals 36, Redskins 6
Washington (1-5) lost its fifth straight, and for the second time this season to Phoenix (2-4). Defensive lineman Eric Swann set up three scores with key plays as the Cardinals had five sacks, forced four fumbles and recovered three.
Swann tackled Reggie Brooks in the end zone for a safety, stripped the ball from QB Mark Rypien and recovered it to set up a field goal, then forced a punt when he got to Rypien again for a sack.
Cardinals running back Garrison Hearst sprained a knee ligament and will be out two to three weeks. Giants 21, Eagles 10
New York (5-1) took sole possession of first in the NFC East and ended a five-game slide against Philadelphia. Lewis Tillman rushed for a career-high 169 yards subbing for injured Rodney Hampton. It was the most yards for a Giants back in seven years.
″At the beginning of the season, we said we wanted to be in a good position to challenge in the second half of the season,″ Giants coach Dan Reeves said. ″This win put us in that position.″
Philadelphia (4-2), which lost quarterback Randall Cunningham to a broken leg in a game at the Meadowlands two weeks ago, saw his backup, Bubby Brister, sprain his right ankle. The Eagles have been ravaged by injuries the last three games.
″We are at the point right now where we are decimated,″ linebacker Seth Joyner said. ″We can’t get the job done if you don’t have the horses.″ Browns 28, Bengals 17
At Cincinnati, Vinny Testaverde made sure his first start as a Brown won’t be his last. Replacing the benched Bernie Kosar, Testaverde matched his career high with three touchdown passes. He had only 11 completions.
″Everybody knew he was a little nervous,″ said receiver Mark Carrier, who played with Testaverde at Tampa. ″After that first drive, he was the Vinny of old that I knew.″
Testaverde led an 80-yard drive with the opening kickoff and Tommy Vardell scored his first NFL touchdown on a 28-yard screen pass. Then Testaverde found Randy Baldwin for a 5-yard TD and connected with Brian Kinchen for a 1-yard score.
The Browns (4-2) got their first victory at Riverfront Stadium in six years. Cincinnati (0-6) lost quarterback David Klingler with a bruised lower back. Oilers 28, Patriots 14
Warren Moon, benched for ineffective play, replaced injured Cody Carlson and was very effective for the visiting Oilers (2-4). He hit 16 of 21 passes, connecting twice with Webster Slaughter for touchdowns. Carlson sprained his groin in the second quarter.
″I’m still unsure of a lot of things going on around here, but I know we won the game,″ Moon said.
The Patriots (1-5) allowed five sacks and had three passes intercepted. Lions 30, Seahawks 10
Mel Gray, whose fumble set up visiting Seattle’s touchdown in the first quarter, had a 95-yard kickoff return and a 35-yard punt runback. Rodney Peete, reinserted as the No. 1 quarterback, completed 14 of 26 passes for 157 yards and TD passes of 13 and 11 yards to Herman Moore for Detroit (4-2). Jason Hanson kicked field goals of 34, 32 and 35 yards for Detroit and Barry Sanders rushed for 101 yards.
″Anytime you can get in a situation like that, where a big return can change the whole excitement of the game, it’s great,″ Gray said. ″The whole morale of the ballclub changed on that play. It seemed like our whole intensity got higher.″
Seattle (3-3) got 11 tackles and a sack from Rod Stephens.