Saints escape Titans

New Orleans 22, Tennessee 17

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

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees reaches for more yards as he is brought down by Tennessee linebacker Tim Shaw.  ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees reaches for more yards as he is brought down by Tennessee linebacker Tim Shaw.

Unable to reach the end zone through three quarters, the Saints got a pair of 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.”

Now the Saints (10-3) have won five in a row and remain in the lead of the NFC South with three games left in the regular season. They clinched a playoff berth when the Chicago Bears lost in overtime to the Denver Broncos later Sunday.

They got another strong performance from Brees, who joined Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas as the only quarterbacks to throw a touchdown pass in 40 consecutive games.

On third-and-6, Brees threw 35 yards to a wide-open Marques Colston, , making it 16-10 with 12:39 to play.

The Saints converted two third downs on their next drive before Brees connected again with Colston, who finished with 105 yards on seven catches, this time for a 28-yard score.

The Titans (7-6) twice had the ball in the final minutes with a chance to win.

On the final drive, Washington caught a 40-yard pass from Locker with 27 seconds left.

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


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