Unable to reach the end zone through three quarters, the Saints got a pair of touchdown passes from Brees to Marques Colston in the final 15 minutes to beat the Titans, 22-17, Sunday.
"It was a gut-check win for us," New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. "A lot of things early on didn't go our way. We had some calls that could have went either way. We just kept fighting and won a good game on the road against a good team." Now the Saints (10-3) have won five straight and remain in the lead of the NFC South with three games left in the regular season.
They got another strong performance from Brees, who joined Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas as the only quarterbacks to throw a touchdown pass in 40 straight games.
On third-and-6, Brees threw 35 yards to a wide-open Colston, who jumped into the air just in front of the goal line at the middle of the field, caught the ball and fell forward into the end zone, giving the Saints a 16-10 lead with 12:39 to play.
The Saints converted two third downs on their next drive before Brees connected again with Colston on a scoring pass, this time for 28 yards.
The touchdown gave New Orleans a 22-10 lead with 7:01 left, and Colston finished with 105 yards on seven catches.
"We knew they were going to get yards," Tennessee safety Michael Griffin said. "Drew knows how to dissect a defense." Brees was 36-for-47 for 337 yards and completed passes to nine different Saints. He has 39,413 yards passing in 150 career starts, which ranks just behind the 39,498 yards passing Dan Marino achieved in his first 150 starts.
The Titans (7-6) twice had the ball in the final minutes with a chance to win. Their loss allowed the Houston Texans to clinch the AFC South and kept the Titans from gaining any ground in a crowded race for the second AFC wild-card spot.