The New Orleans Saints felt like they had cinder blocks on their legs in the first-quarter on the road against the Tennessee Titans and trailed 14-0 after the first-quarter.
New Orleans got hot after that. They decided to fake a punt up 31-28 in the fourth-quarter with 4:26 remaining in regulation, but Taysom Hill threw a pass intended for J. Hardee and it was dropped and it would have been a first-down on a fourth-and-7 play from the Tennessee 38-yard line.
Instead, the Titans had a chance to tie the game or take the lead. However, Kalif Raymond caught a 23-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill and Raymond fumbled because he was hit helmet-to-helmet by C. Gardner-Johnson and the Saints recovered the fumble and their should have been a penalty called but there wasn't. With 2:10 remaining in regulation, Drew Brees threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas to put the game away as New Orleans took down Tennessee by a score of 38-28.
Thomas has broken Marvin Harrison's single season reception record in this game of 143 that was set back in 2002 with the Indianapolis Colts.
Michael Thomas now has 144 receptions on the season with one more week left to play in the regular season. He finished the day with 12 receptions for 136 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Drew Brees completed 27-of-38 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for -3 yards on three carries.
Taysom Hill completed 1-of-2 passes for 20 yards. He also rushed for 11 yards on two carries. Hill also caught two passes for 21 yards receiving.
The two touchdowns that Tennessee scored in the first-quarter was on a 41-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill to Jonnu Smith and a 49-yard rushing touchdown by A.J. Brown.
Tannehill completed 17-of-27 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for eight yards on one carry.
Smith caught three passes for 63 yards receiving and a touchdown.
A.J. Brown's rushing touchdown was his only rushing attempt in the game. He caught only one pass for 34 yards receiving in this game.
Dion Lewis was the starting running back in this game for the Tennessee Titans. Derrick Henry did not play due to a hamstring injury and Tennessee felt like it was more important for him to be healthy in Week 17.
Lewis rushed for 68 yards on 15 carries. He also caught one pass for 19 yards receiving.
With the Saints trailing 14-3 in the second-quarter, Jared Cook caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees. Cook caught three passes for 84 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
On the opening drive of the third-quarter, Alvin Kamara scored on a 40-yard rushing touchdown for New Orleans. He finished the game with 80 yards rushing on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Kamara also caught six passes for 30 yards receiving.
He also scored on a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the third-quarter to give the New Orleans Saints a 24-14 lead.
Ryan Tannehill threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Tajae Sharpe on the next drive for Tennessee. Sharpe finished with five receptions for 69 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Corey Davis caught three passes for 40 yards receiving.
Kalif Raymond caught two passes for 32 yards receiving.
Dalyn Dawkins rushed for 24 yards on nine carries.
MyCole Pruitt caught two passes for 15 yards receiving for the Titans.
On the next drive, Jared Cook caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees for New Orleans.
With less than 7:33 remaining in regulation, Ryan Tannehill threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tajae Sharpe to cut the deficit to 31-28 and the rest was history.
The New Orleans Saints are still potentially alive for the number one seed in the NFC. They will need to win next week and get some help.
As for the Tennessee Titans, all they have to do next week is win and they will be in the playoffs because the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) lost to the New York Jets (6-9) on the road by a score of 16-10.
Tennessee can get in with a loss next week, but they will need Pittsburgh to lose and Oakland (6-8) to lose one of their final two games or the Indianapolis Colts (7-8) will need to lose their final game of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) next week.
New Orleans (12-3) will be on the road next Sunday against the Carolina Panthers (5-10).
The Titans (8-7) will be on the road next Sunday against the Houston Texans (10-5).