Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Saints 22, Titans 17

Saints wide receiver Marques Colston celebrates his 35-yard TD catch, which gave New Orleans a 16-10 lead in the fourth quarter.

Associated Press

Saints wide receiver Marques Colston celebrates his 35-yard TD catch, which gave New Orleans a 16-10 lead in the fourth quarter.

NASHVILLE — The Saints got a wake-up call from the Titans and Drew Brees came through to keep New Orleans' winning streak going.

Unable to reach the end zone through three quarters, the Saints got two touchdown passes from Brees to Marques Colston in the final 15 minutes to beat the Titans 22-17 on Sunday.

"It was a gut-check win for us," New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. "A lot of things early on didn't go our way. We had some calls that could have went either way. We just kept fighting and won a good game on the road against a good team."

The Saints have won five straight and lead the NFC South by two games with three left. They clinched a playoff berth, their third in a row, when Chicago lost in overtime at Denver.

And Brees joined Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas as the only quarterbacks to throw a touchdown pass in 40 straight games.

On third and 6, Brees threw 35 yards to a wide-open Colston, who jumped in the air just in front of the goal line at the middle of the field, caught the ball and fell into the end zone, making it 16-10 with 12:39 left.

The Saints converted two third downs on their next drive before Brees hit Colston again on a scoring pass, for 28 yards.

That gave New Orleans a 22-10 lead with 7:01 left. Colston had 105 yards on seven catches.

"We knew they were going to get yards," Tennessee safety Michael Griffin said. "Drew knows how to dissect a defense."

Brees had 337 passing yards to give him 39,413 in 150 career starts, just behind the 39,498 yards passing Dan Marino achieved in his first 150 starts.

The Titans twice had the ball in the final minutes with a chance to win.

Rookie Jake Locker, who came in after starter Matt Hasselbeck hurt his left calf, hit Nate Washington on a 40-yard pass with 27 seconds left, setting up a chance for a Titans rally.

Locker spiked the ball at the Saints 5, but his pass on second down to Marc Mariani in the end zone was batted down by cornerback Tracy Porter, and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar sacked Locker on third down as time expired.


Saints 22, Titans 17 12/11/11 [Last modified: Sunday, December 11, 2011 11:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead


    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  2. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  3. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  4. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.