Saints Win 22-17 in Close Game with Titans

Well it wouldn't be a Saints game if there wasn't heart-stopping, pulse-pounding action until the very last second now would it? But despite putting up better numbers in many statistical categories, New Orleans was lucky to escape Tennessee with a 22 - 17 win in a surprisingly low scoring, penalty ridden affair that could have easily gone the other way.

On offense the Saints struggled to find the end zone, surviving on John Kasay field goals until the fourth quarter, when Marques Colston caught two touchdown passes to put the Saints ahead. Stupid penalties would negate several of their big plays in the first half like a Darren Sproles punt return touchdown. This game would have been completely different otherwise.

Once again the Saints defense did just enough to give the team the win while making sure to keep fans on the verge of complete heart failure. They did a great job of shutting down Chris Johnson and limiting him to just 23 yards on 11 carries, but, as usual, gave up way more big plays than I'm particularly comfortable with, including a 40-yard pass to Nate Washington with 0:27 seconds left on the clock, putting the Titans in scoring range and giving them a chance to win the game. But the defense came up with two big plays to end the game and preserve the win.

Most importantly, however, is the great job the Saints are doing protecting the football. This is their third consecutive game without a turnover and that should be noted.

More on the game from me tomorrow. For now, just enjoy the win. The Saints are now 10-3, marking the first time in team history they have recorded at least 10 wins in three consecutive seasons. They could have locked up the division title if the Panthers had come up with a win against the Falcons today but Olindo Mare missed a game-winning field goal and still continues to haunt Saints fans years after he's left the team.

Click the picture for more from today's action. Make the jump for full stats from the game and check out who played well.

Team Stats

NO TEN
First Downs 24 17
Total Yards 437 373
Passing Yards 323 314
Rushing Yards 114 59
Penalties (Yds) 11(95) 8(54)
Turnovers 0 0
Punts (AVG) 5(43) 5(38)
Time of Pos. 37:33 22:27

Top Performers

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
D. Brees 36/47 337 2 0
Rushing CAR YDS TD LG
C. Ivory 13 53 0 25
D. Sproles 5 33 0 14
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Colston 7 105 2 35T
D. Sproles 7 58 0 20
P. Thomas 6 35 0 23
TENNESSEE TITANS
Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
J. Locker 13/29 282 1 0
Rushing CAR YDS TD LG
J. Locker 6 36 1 17
C. Johnson 11 23 0 9
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
N. Washington 6 130 1 40T
C. Johnson 5 43 0 14
L. Hawkins 3 49 0 25
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