The Atlanta Falcons strengthen their playoff chances by beating the New Orleans Saints 20-17

Photo credit: Scott Cunningham / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

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This weekā€™s Thursday Night Football match up was an NFC South showdown between the Falcons and Saints. The Falcons started the game off very cold but were eventually able to comeback and win 20-17. Matt Ryan threw 3 interceptions early on but he did throw for 221 yards and a touchdown too. Devonta Freeman also had a decent night, he added 91 yards and 1 touchdown to the offensive effort. Julio Jones was Atlantaā€™s leading receiver Jones hauled in 5 catches for 98 yards. Mohamed Sanu was also a factor in the passing game, Sanu caught 6 balls for 83 yards and 1 touchdown. As far as the Saints go Drew Brees tossed 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 271 passing yards. Brees had a better night individually than Ryan did but New Orleans couldnā€™t bring home a victory. Michael Thomas had a pretty big night for the gold and black. Thomas racked up 117 receiving yards and 1 touchdown reception. Tommylee Lewis grabbed a fade route for a Saints touchdown as well however Sean Paytonā€™s team ended up giving this game away in the 4th quarter though. The Falcons put together 10 unanswered point in the final quarter of play while Drew Brees and company faded away. The Saints seized up with the pressure on and they really could have used this win to keep morale high. On the defensive side of the ball the Falcons got a huge night from Deion Jones. Jones racked up 13 tackles and the game clinching interception with time winding down. Dontari Poe also had solid night for the Dirty Birds upfront, Poe chipped in 5 tackles and 1 sack. Manti Teā€™o was the top defender for New Orleans, Teā€™o totaled up 10 tackles. While Marshon Lattimore held up fairly well against Julio Jones recording 3 tackles and 1 interception. Atlanta takes a step towards the postseason with this win and should be able to hold off Seattle and Detroit the rest of the way. Dan Quinnā€™s team has to feel confidant moving forward.

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