Saints Outlast Steelers To Lock Up Top NFC Seed

The New Orleans Saints celebrate during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 23, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

(AP) Drew Brees capped a 326-yard passing performance with a 2-yard touchdown to Michael Thomas with 1:25 left, and the Saints clinched the top seed in the NFC playoffs by outlasting the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-28 Sunday.

Alvin Kamara gained 105 yards from scrimmage and ran for two touchdowns for New Orleans (13-2), which rallied for the lead after two defensive stops in the fourth quarter. New Orleans ended one Steelers drive when Kurt Coleman forced Stevan Ridley's fumble, and ended another by narrowly thwarting a fake punt.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards and three touchdowns for the Steelers (8-6-1), connecting 14 times with Antonio Brown for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Pittsburgh fell into second in the AFC North behind Baltimore and out of playoff position.

Pittsburgh drove into field-goal range on its final drive, but JuJu Schuster fumbled when he was stripped by defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins as the receiver landed on top of his tackler. Linebacker Demario Davis recovered.

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