NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Heading into Sunday's contest in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, both the Saints and the Titans were riding streaks. New Orleans was looking for its fourth-consecutive win while Tennessee was trying to get out of a funk and pick up its first victory since Week 1. When the dust settled, it was the Titans who came away with the 34-28 overtime win over the Saints.
Following the loss, Saints' Head Coach Sean Payton commented on the loss to Tennessee and other factors in the game that did not work out in his team's favor.
Below is a transcript of Payton's podium sound given following the game, provided by the New Orleans Saints:
"Obviously, it is a disappointing loss. I respect (Tennessee) for battling back like they were able to. I felt early on we had our opportunities to get out ahead and score a few more and all of a sudden, we got a turnover (fumble on punt return). There was a sequence of about two or three things that happened. The second half comes and we struggle with some (pass) protections, we can't get off the field defensively, we get in field goal
range and we get a kick blocked. We fumble a return. We do those things that keep you from winning. It is disappointing, but we'll look closely at the film and battle back."
(on Hau'oli Kikaha's absence affecting the pass rush) "It's hard to put a measure on that. We knew that Marcus (Mariota) is pretty good at getting the ball out of his hands. We'll look at the tape and see how we did with our rush. It's kind of frustrating. We played some zone and some man coverage. We just struggled getting off the field, and obviously when you lose like that in overtime, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.
"It's a game that despite the imperfections and how we played, we had a chance (to win) at the end and weren't able to execute. We get that opportunity to kick that field goal at the end. It's disappointing."
(on new holder) "We have to look at the kicks. It's hard to tell without seeing it on the film, if the trajectory was low, if the hold was clean. I'm not sure. We'll see."
(on playing base defense more) "They're kind of a heavy 12 personnel team with two tight ends. They got into some three tight ends. I think (we played base defense) maybe a little bit more today, but I don't know (if it was) that much more."
(on Tennessee's first TD on tipped pass changing dynamic of game) "There's not a lot I can say to you guys when something like that happens. They're going to high-point the ball, there's a collision. You get back, keep working and keep hustling. Obviously, it's a key point in the game and you hope to overcome it."
(on frustration of losing with a chance to go over .500 on the season) "It's a loss. There's not a lot of wiggle room when you start off the way we started. When you lose the turnover battle like we did today - we got one and lost two - (and) you can't execute a simple field goal, to me, it's certainly up and down. To get that consistency we're looking for, we're going to have to be better in a lot of areas, or else, it's going to be kind of
streaky, here-and-there type of deal. We've got to do a better job of coaching. There are a number of things that are frustrating about this loss.
(on differences in Tennessee's scheme with new head coach) "No, they ran play-actions and they did a good job of running the football. Their rush numbers at half were better than ours; that's pretty disappointing. I thought we'd be better rushing the football in the second half. I don't know there was anything (in the scheme) that jumped out. Certainly, the personnel was a little different, because receivers were playing new roles for them.
They were down one there; we were down at linebacker and a little thin at corners. (That's) kind of how it is week to week.
(on whether he considered going for two with 27-20 lead) "No, not at that point in the game."
(on frustration of field goal operation throughout this season) "It's the snap, the hold, (and) the fundamentals. They kicked last week to win a game and they get an opportunity to do it again. We'll look at the tape. Obviously, it's frustrating. We obviously aren't doing a good enough job coaching. We have got to get that cleaned up."