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Another Late Comeback Fails as Saints Fall to Titans 23-21.

Penalties and a slow offensive start doom New Orleans once again

New Orleans Saints v Tennessee Titans Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

Following a gut-wrenching home loss to the Atlanta Falcons, one that snapped a three-game winning streak, the New Orleans Saints were hoping to return to their winning ways as they faced the streaking Tennessee Titans in Nashville.

A sleepy game most of the day, the Saints would go down 3-0 early in the first quarter, but respond with a touchdown from Trevor Siemian to Tre’Quan Smith to take a 6-3 lead after a misses extra point. The Titans would eventually answer the Saints’ touchdown with one of their own, heavily aided by an egregiously bad roughing-the-passer penalty after Marcus Williams had intercepted Ryan Tannehill in the end zone. Tennessee would take a 13-6 lead into halftime.

The second half would start the worst way possible for New Orleans, with Deonte Harris trying to do too much returning the kickoff, and coughing the ball up at the Saints’ 18-yard line. The Titans would quickly take advantage, increasing their lead to 20-6 after Ryan Tannehill found Michael Pruitt for a touchdown.

The Saints would finally mount their best offensive drive of the game, going 88 yards and culminating with a Mark Ingram 13-yard run into the end zone to make the score 20-12 Tennessee, after yet another missed extra point.

After the teams exchanged field goals to make the score 23-15 in favor of the Titans with about five minutes left into the game, the Saints would get the ball back once again with a chance this time to tie the game. New Orleans would drive to Tennessee’s red zone, score a touchdown to make the score 23-21, then fail yet again to convert a two-point try.

The Saints lose their second in a row and fall to 5-4 on the season, while the Titans improve to 8-2.

Below is a live quarter-by-quarter description of how the game unfolded:


First Quarter

Saints win the toss and defer to the second half. Titans return the kickoff to the 31-yard line.

Titans face a 3rd-and-10 on the first play and a Ryan Tannehill pass to A.J. Brown is incomplete, Titans punt.

Saints take over at their own 34-yard line. Trevor Siemian finds Juwan Johnson for a first down. Siemian then finds Adam Trautman into Titans’ territory. Siemian is sacked by Jeffrey Simmons for a loss to 8 yards. On 3rd-and-12, Siemian’s pass to Marquez Callaway is incomplete, Saints punt and pin the Titans at their 8-yard line.

Titans go three-and-out and have to punt again, Saints return the ball to midfield.

Saints gain 7 yards on first down to Tennessee’s 43. Taysom Hill runs for another first down. A penalty on the Saints and another sack pushes New Orleans back. Siemian’s pass on 4th down falls incomplete and Saints punt again, resulting in a touchback.

Titans start at their 20-yard line, and Ryan Tannehill finds Marcus Johnson for 49 yards on a rub route to the Saints’ 26-yrd line.

Tennessee gets inside the red zone and on 3rd down, a Tannehill pass is incomplete, Tennessee goes for s field goal and Randy Bullock makes a 28-yarder.

NO: 0 - TEN: 3

Deonte Harris returns the kickoff to the 25-yard line. Saints run two rushing plays for 4 yards as the quarter ends.

Second Quarter

On the first play of the quarter, Siemian finds Deonte Harris for 46-yards on 3rd-and-6. Taysom Hill runs for a first down inside the Titans’ red zone. Siemian then finds Tre’Quan Smith for a touchdown. Brian Johnson misses the extra point.

NO: 6 - TEN: 3

Titans take over at their 23-yard line. Tannehill finds Marcus Johnson at the Saints’ 40-yard line. Titans face a 4th-and-1 and an illegal substitution gives Tennessee the first down at the Saints’ 26-yard line. Saints stop Tennessee and Randy Bullock ties the game a 6 with a 36-yard field goal.

NO: 6 - TEN: 6

Saints start at their 14-yard line and gain one yard with Mark Ingram on first down. Saints immediately face a 3rd-and-7 and a defensive penalty on Tennessee keeps the drive alive. On a subsequent 3rd-and-7, Siemian overthrows Kevin White and Tennessee returns the punt to their 44-yard line.

Tannehill finds Marcus Johnson to the Saints’ 40-yard line. So far Johnson is Tennessee’s best receiver. Tannehill finds A.J. Brown to the edge of the Saints’ red zone. Titans get deep in the red zone to the Saints’ 8-yard line as the two-minute warning hits.

On the first play of game, Ryan Tannehill is intercepted by Marcus Williams, but a bogus roughing the passer penalty on Kaden Elliss nullifies the pick. On 3rd-and-goal, a pass interference on the Saints gives the Titans another first and goal. Ryan Tannehill plunges into the end zone for a touchdown.

NO: 6 - TEN: 13

Saints take over at the 32-yard line after a 27-yard return by Harris. Siemian finds Deonte Harris to the 35-yard line of the Titans. Siemian gets sacked twice for not throwing the ball away when he should have. A false start penalty takes a 10-second runoff and Saints get nothing out of the drive.


Third Quarter

Deonte Harris returns the kickoff and is hits and fumbles. Titans recover at the Saints’ 18-yard line. Titans take over and on 3rd down, Tannehill finds Marcus Johnson again to the Saints’ one-yard line. Tannehill finds Michael Pruitt for a touchdown. Randy Bullock makes the extra point.

NO: 6 - TEN: 20

Deonte Harris returns the kickoff to the 25-yard line. Saints quickly face a 3rd-and-8. and Siemian’s pass to Trautman falls incomplete. Saints punt. and another penalty on New Orleans gives Tennessee the ball at their own 48-yard line. Titans run two rushing plays and on third down, Marcus Davenport sacks Tannehill and Titans are forced to punt.

Saints take over at their own 12-yard line and immediately face a 3rd-and-4. Siemian finds Tre’Quan Smith for 21 yards to the Saints’ 40-yard line. Taysom Hill passes for a first down to Adam Trautman, then catches a first down pass to the Titans’ 30-yard line. Siemian finds Mark Ingram for a first down into Tennessee’s red zone. Saints face a 3rd-and-4 and Mark Ingram runs into the end zone on a 13-yard toss play. Brian Johnson misses another PAT.

NO: 12 - TEN: 20

Titans return a short kickoff to their 25-yard line and go three-and-out. and punt.

Saints start at their 25-yard line and face a 3rd-and-6. Siemian’s pass to Kevin White falls incomplete. Saints punt.

Titans take over at their 25-yard line. and run two plays as the quarter ends.

Fourth Quarter

Titans get to midfield and into Saints’ territory. Titans run a screen play for 39 yards to the Saints’ 9-yard line. On second-and-goal, Marcus Davenport sacks Tannehill, Davenport’s second sack of the game. Titans concede and play for the field goal. Randy Bullock makes a 36-yard field goal.

NO: 12 - TEN: 23

On the first play, Siemian finds Ingram for 34 yards to the Titans 34-yard line. On the next play, Siemian finds Juwan Johnson to the Titans’ 3-yard line. Saints face a pass interference in the end zone. A holding penalty on the Titans keeps the Saints’ drive alive at the 4-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, Saints fail to convert and settle for a field goal attempt. Brian Johnson makes a 20-yard field goal.

NO: 15 - TEN: 23

Titans take over at their 25-yard line and gain a first down running the ball with Adrian Peterson. Saints’ Kwon Alexander tackles Peterson for a 5 yards loss on the next play, as New Orleans starts using their timeouts. After a batted ball by Shy Tuttle, Titans face a 3rd-and-15 and play conservatively and cannot pick up the first down. Titans punt.

Saints get the ball with 3:34 left on the clock. Siemian finds Marquez Callaway for 22 yards and a personal foul penalty on the Titans adds 15 yards to the gain. Saints face a 3rd-and-4 at the Titans’ 29-yard line. Siemian finds Harris for a first down at the Titans’ 12-yard line as the two-minute warning hits. On 2nd-and-10, Saints run the ball as the clock runs down and on 3rd-and-13, Siemian finds Marquez Callaway for a touchdown.

Saints go for two, and Adam Trautman has a false start that pushes the ball to the 7-yard line. Trevor Siemian’s pass is incomplete.

NO: 21 - TEN: 23

Saints try an onside kick and fail to recover. Titans win the game.

Final Score: NO: 21 - TEN: 23


What doomed the Saints in today’s loss to Tennessee?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    The offense can only function well in two-minute drive situations.
    (49 votes)
  • 12%
    The defense allows too many big plays.
    (47 votes)
  • 47%
    Too many injuries have doomed the team.
    (178 votes)
  • 20%
    The quarterback position is hit-or-miss.
    (76 votes)
  • 7%
    I have burgers, there is no such thing as doom.
    (28 votes)
378 votes total Vote Now

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