NASHVILLE, TN. – An untimely turnover, a questionable call that took away an end zone interception, two missed extra points and a false start proved too much for the New Orleans Saints to overcome in a 23-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Nov. 14 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.
It was the Saints’ second consecutive loss and dropped them to 5-4. Tennessee improved to 8-2.
The Saints had a chance to send the game to overtime after Trevor Siemian’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Callaway made it 23-21 Tennessee with 1:16 to play. With Taysom Hill in at quarterback for the 2-point play, the Saints were penalized for a false start by tight end Adam Trautman. Siemian came back in and his pass to running back Mark Ingram II from the 7-yard line was incomplete.
The comeback was necessary after New Orleans returner Deonte Harris fumbled the kickoff to start the second half, giving Tennessee the ball at the 19-yard line. The Titans quickly scored on a 2-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to MyCole Pruitt, which increased Tennessee’s lead to 20-6.
Another key play in the game came when the Saints appeared to have stopped a Tennessee scoring drive in the first half when Marcus Williams intercepted Tannehill in the end zone but the Saints were penalized for roughing the passer by linebacker Kaden Elliss. Later in the drive Demario Davis was called for pass interference, giving Tennessee the ball first and goal at the 1. Tennessee scored on the next play on a dive by Tannehill for a 13-6 halftime lead.
The Saints scored their first touchdown on an 11-yard pass from Siemain to Tre’Quan Smith in the second quarter. The score was set up by a 46-yard completion to Deonte Harris. Kicker Brian Johnson missed the extra-point attempt, the first of two missed extra points
New Orleans entered the game without offensive stars Alvin Kamara, Terron Armstead and Michael Thomas and playing its second game without starting quarterback Jameis Winston. Siemian got the start again at quarterback and was 19 of 34 for 298 yards and two touchdown passes. He was sacked four time, all in the first half.
Ingram took over the load from Kamara and was effective, rushing the ball 14 times for 47 yards and scoring the team’s second touchdown on a 13-yard scamper through the right side. The team’s 2011 first-round draft pick also set up a 20-yard Johnson field goal with a 34-yard reception from Siemian in the fourth quarter. Ingram had four receptions for 61 yards.
Defensive end Marcus Davenport had a strong game for New Orleans with two sacks.
The Saints will play at Philadelphia next Sunday before returning to Caesars Superdome for a Thanksgiving night game against the Buffalo Bills.
The former Heisman Trophy winner and 2011 first-round draft pick out of Alabama entered Sunday’s game against Tennessee with 6,077 career rushing yards with the Saints, 19 yards behind Saints Hall of Famer Deuce McAllister. Ingram accomplished the mark in the third quarter with a 6-yard run.
(Saints Media Press Release)