"Quick change" is a phrase New Orleans Saints players hear, a situation that Saints coaches try to prepare them for, a situation that can occur at any moment during the course of a game.
The Saints (5-4) had the worst kind of quick change Sunday in their 23-21 loss to the Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. And it was a swing that went a long way toward the team being in position to lose its second consecutive game.
New Orleans didn't play an outstanding first half, but only trailed 13-6 at halftime. And after winning the opening toss and deferring, the Saints were scheduled to open the second half with the ball and a chance to tie the score.
Unfortunately for the Saints, they got off schedule.
Receiver Deonte Harty fielded the kickoff four yards deep in the end zone and brought it out. But as Harris, the NFL leader in kickoff return average, came up the left side, he was tackled by Titans linebacker Dylan Cole. And not only tackled, but Cole jarred the ball loose.
Tennessee fullback Tory Carter recovered at the 19 and instantly, the Titans were in the red zone. Five plays later, quarterback Ryan Tannehill tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end MyCole Pruitt on second-and-goal to push Tennessee's lead to 20-6.
And while New Orleans was able to close the gap, eventually pulling to within a failed two-point conversion of tying the score at 23-23, the gifted-possession, short-field touchdown drive helped the Titans establish a gap that the Saints wouldn't overcome.
The New Orleans Saints take on the Tennessee Titans on the road in Week 10 of the 2021 NFL season.