Drew Brees, the New Orleans quarterback, rediscovered his Super Bowl form in time to make the Saints look like contenders again.
After taking a pounding and throwing an interception in the first half, Brees connected on 20 of 22 passes he attempted in the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He tossed two fourth-quarter touchdown passes that lifted the Saints to a 20-10 victory on Sunday night.
"We knew what a big game this was," Brees said. "There was no better way to get back on track than to beat these guys. I felt like we played as complete a game as we've played all year, especially in the second half."
His first TD went to Marques Colston for 16 yards and the second went for eight yards to Lance Moore with 2min 37secs left, breaking open a defensive struggle in which neither team scored a touchdown through three quarters.
Leigh Torrence then intercepted Ben Roethlisberger to seal it for the Saints, who were coming off an embarrassing 30-17 loss at home last week to the scuffling Cleveland Browns.
"We have a special group," Brees said. "I think we all knew that from the start. We just had to come out and prove it. It's a long season ... You're going to have your ups and downs."
Rashard Mendenhall had the only touchdown for Pittsburgh on a 38-yard run in the fourth quarter.
"This is definitely a gut check for us," Roethlisberger said. "We got knocked down a little bit tonight and now it will be interesting to see how we bounce back."