Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Falcons stay in playoff hunt with win over Saints
A pick by New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees proved costly late on.

NFL / YouTube

THE ATLANTA FALCONS kept their playoff hopes alive with a 20-17 victory against the New Orleans Saints in the NFL.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw a trio of interceptions on Thursday, but it was the only pick by Drew Brees that proved most costly for the Saints.

Saints QB Brees was intercepted by Falcons linebacker Deion Jones in the end zone with 1:25 remaining to help the Falcons seal a win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Brees had driven the Saints (9-4) to the Falcons 11-yard line, but his second-down pass to backup tight end Josh Hill was picked by Jones.

The win by the Falcons (8-5) not only kept them alive for a playoff berth, but ensured they stay in the hunt for the NFC South title.

If the Falcons win out, they will claim the division, but a second matchup with the Saints in New Orleans on Christmas Eve looms.

The Saints played most of the game without rookie running back Alvin Kamara, who suffered a concussion on the opening series of the game.

Kamara had scored six touchdowns over the last six weeks, but had just 27 yards from scrimmage on four touches on Thursday.

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Without Kamara, the Saints managed just 50 rushing yards as Brees went 26 of 35 for 271 yards and two touchdowns, but the costly interception. While Ryan struggled, Devonta Freeman picked up the slack for the Falcons offense with 91 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Though Ryan struggled, he did lead a pair of scoring drives in the fourth quarter to lift the Falcons to victory.

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