Up and down day for Brees

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:08 PM ET

Drew Brees pulled a Cam Newton.

Newton, Carolina's standout rookie has put up some spectacular numbers, but has led his team to only a single win so far this season.

On Sunday, Brees became the first player ever to pass for 350 yards or more in four consecutive games, but also threw three interceptions and came up on the losing side of things.

Brees was picked off in the end zone late with the Saints threatening to pull off a comeback.

Instead, Tampa and New Orleans are tied atop the NFC South at 4-2.

Brees passed for a gaudy 383 yards -- his best total since throwing for 419 in Week 1 -- but his completion rate was his lowest of the season, as was his dismal 70.9 QB rating. The three interceptions were the most he has thrown since last October.

Meanwhile, counterpart Josh Freeman rebounded from an awful performance in last week's 48-3 loss to San Francisco.

Freeman threw for 303 yards and a pair of touchdowns and was not intercepted for only the second time this season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers improved to 4-2 with a 17-13 win over Jacksonville, but they haven't looked too impressive so far, despite leading the AFC North.

Coming off of a Super Bowl loss, the Steelers have looked bad in two losses, great in two victories, and mediocre in two other wins, including against Jacksonville.

The Jaguars are a bad team and a very young one, yet, Pittsburgh let them back into the game after building a 17-0 lead.

Pittsburgh was able to muster just 70 yards of offence in the second half, and let the Jaguars stay in the game right until the end. Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert's desperation bomb fell incomplete in the back of the end zone.

The Steelers don't seem too worried.

"We just have to be consistent," said receiver Hines Ward.

"We are not doing it on a consistent level yet. But we're getting there."

Pittsburgh put up 315 yards in the first half to Jacksonville's 68 but Ben Roethlisberger completed just a single pass in the second half. It was the latest puzzling effort for the league's most Jekyll and Hyde outfit. The Steelers have won games 24-0 and 38-17, but also lost 35-17 and looked horrible for large stretches of games like this one.

The Oakland Raiders lost their quarterback but won one for Al Davis.

John Madden lit an eternal flame in honour of the team's legendary owner, who died last week and the team responded with a 24-17 win over Cleveland.

Oakland also won last week while still in shock from learning about Davis' passing, but this was the first home game without the man most closely associated with the franchise.

Though the team won its third straight, it also lost starter Jason Campbell to a suspected broken collarbone. Kyle Boller was poor in his place. Rookie Terrelle Pryor is now available after serving a suspension, but many doubt whether he will be able to play quarterback in the NFL.

Madden the Super Bowl-winning coach, turned commentator and video game salesman lit the flame at halftime.

The Raiders are two games above .500 for the first time since 2002.

Oakland, second in the league in rushing, got a pedestrian 91 yards out of Darren McFadden, but shored things up defensively. Better than only three teams in terms of passing yardage allowed coming in, Oakland held Colt McCoy to a poor 21-for-45, 215 yard performance, though he did throw for two touchdowns.

The major improvement was defending on the ground. Oakland held Cleveland to just 65 rushing yards.

In Michael Turner and Drew Brees, the San Diego Chargers once had both a top five running back and quarterback. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they let each of them go.

139 yards

Turner reminded everybody on Sunday -- particularly the Carolina Panthers -- that that was a mistake.

"The Burner" ran around the confused Panthers to the tune of 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Atlanta's 31-17 win over the 1-5 Panthers.

Part of the reason the Falcons have started the season a disappointing 3-3 is because Turner has underachieved.

This was his first 100-yard rushing performance since Week 2. Though he was still getting into the end zone (three touchdowns the past three weeks), Turner was largely invisible against Green Bay (56 rushing yards in a loss), Seattle (70 but on just 2.7 yards per carry in a win) and in a loss to Tampa Bay (just 20 yards).

If he is back in form, Matt Ryan's Falcons just might be as well.

"It started with the O-line. They came out with a nasty attitude today, that they were going to move the line of scrimmage," Turner said.

"I love to see green, man. You give me some space, I'll do what I do."


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