The Tennessee Titans led by as many as 14 but had to successfully defend a two-point conversion attempt with 1:15 to play to defeat to the New Orleans Saints 23-21 on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
The Titans improved to 8-2 with their NFL-best sixth-straight victory. New Orleans fell to 5-4.
Here is a collection of what players on both sides had to say following the contest.
On the Titans’ sixth straight win:
• Titans DT Jeffery Simmons: “I love winning. I don’t care how it comes. … You never know when another team can come in, any team in this league can get beat. So, I love winning, winning in this league. I learned since I have been in the league it’s hard to win in this league. So, you know, we are going to enjoy this win. We always like tough games. Sometimes it might not be as tough as it was (Sunday), but as long we got the dub, I am satisfied.”
• Titans RB Adrian Peterson: “Games are hard to win in the NFL and today was tough. It is games like this where it can flip and be able to lose it or win it. Have to continue to be able to grind them out and adjust on the fly and pull-out W’s and not pedal down. I think offensively we have a lot of stuff to get better at, so to be able to continue to pull out wins out speaks on how good this team is and how good this team can be.”
• Titans LT Taylor Lewan: “This team is just finding ways to win. I think the only thing that matters is 8-2. … It’s awesome to be 8-2. I bring this up a lot, but in 2014 or 2015, we couldn’t buy a win. … It’s very cool to be part of a huge change and I think everyone has put us in a huge position to be successful, and we’re scrappy. This team is very scrappy.”
On New Orleans’ two-point conversion attempt with 1:15 to play:
• Titans OLB Jayon Brown: “I was just playing my technique and had them in a pretty much man-to-man situation, and (running back Mark Ingram) got me earlier in the game for a (34)-yard gain. Last play of the game, I saw the wheel coming, hit him coming out of the backfield which I think slowed him down, and the pass was short, and it fell incomplete.”
• Saints RB Mark Ingram: “I released, and the (Brown) kind of widened me a little bit. And when I cleared him, I looked back and saw the ball in the air, tried to get it, and felt like I was going to catch it. I think (cornerback Jackrabbit Jenkins) who fell off, his hands were kind of on top of mine. I initially thought he intercepted it. I looked up, saw it, located it, tried to make the play, felt like I was in position to make the play, I was looking the ball into my hands, and I feel like his hands were just right above mine.”
• Saints QB Trevor Siemian: “I saw the linebacker’s back turn on (Ingram), and I thought that was a pretty good chance to get one there. Without having looked at it, I think I’ve got to give him a better throw and extend the play, and something weird happens.”
On the Titans forcing and recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half:
* Titans QB Ryan Tannehill: “It was huge. I’m not even sure who even made that hit but that was awesome, man. You see a big hit on special teams without a turnover and it can change the momentum of a game and really get the defense going, get a lot of confidence going out onto the field.”
• Titans LB Dylan Cole, who forced the fumble: “I am not much of a thinker. When I am out there, I just play. … I don’t think anybody thinks before they hit, I think they just hit and however they hit them, you hit them. … It was just a forced fumble and great recovery by Tory [Carter].”
On the outcome of the game:
• Siemian: “This is the NFL. You’re not blowing people out. You’re not winning by three or four scores every week. The margin for error is next to nothing and these games, whatever percent of them come down to one possession at the end, and if you slip up on a few details, this is what happens.”
• Titans FS Kevin Byard: “We go into every game expecting a dog fight. We don’t go into games thinking we are going to blow guys out. Obviously, the Saints are a really good football team. They’ve been a really good football team in this league for a while. No matter what quarterback they have in there, we understood that their defense was going to play pretty well. We had to match their defense. Just proud that we got a win today, that we just found a way to get a win.”
• Saints LB Kwon Alexander: “When you lose, you’re going to see that. It’s better when you win, you’ll see everybody happy. And when you lose, you’re supposed to be mad. You’re supposed to hate losing. You just have to take it upon yourself and look at yourself and see what you can do better to help the team and just figure it out.”
Saints LB DeMario Davis: “It’s very hard to win in this league. We have won a lot of games here and we don’t take that for granted. We know what it takes to win and we know how to handle adversity. In a game like this you credit the other team for making more plays than you.”