29 Nov 2019, 10:37 IST

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ATLANTA (AP) — Taysom Hill blocked a punt to arrange his 3-yard landing catch, later scored on a 30-yard run and the New Orleans Saints clinched their third straight NFC South title by beating the Atlanta Falcons 26-18 on Thursday evening.

With Julio Jones inactive as a result of a shoulder harm, the Falcons had too little offense to maintain tempo with Drew Brees and the Saints. Atlanta recovered two onside kicks within the closing minutes, together with one with 1:54 remaining, to make issues fascinating.

Matt Ryan was sacked by Cameron Jordan on a fourth-down play from the New Orleans 44 with 38 seconds remaining. Ryan was sacked 9 occasions, together with 4 by Jordan.

The Saints (10-2) atoned for his or her 26-9 dwelling loss to the Falcons on Nov. 10. It was the Saints’ solely loss of their final 10 video games.

The versatile Hill blocked Ryan Allen’s punt to finish Atlanta’s first possession. The Saints took over on the Falcons 30, and 4 performs later Hill scored his first landing on the quick cross from Brees.

Hill took a direct snap and ran 30 yards for his first speeding landing of the season to provide New Orleans a 17-6 lead late within the first half.

The disappointing Falcons (3-9) solidified their maintain on final place within the division with their second straight dwelling loss.

Atlanta operating again Devonta Freeman returned after lacking two video games with a foot sprain. Freeman ran for 51 yards on 17 carries.

Ryan dedicated three second-half turnovers — two interceptions and a misplaced fumble. Saints nostril deal with Shy Tuttle and security C.J. Gardner-Johnson had interceptions.

Ryan fumbled within the fourth quarter when hit by Marcus Davenport. Vonn Bell’s restoration arrange Will Lutz’s fourth discipline objective, from 45 yards.

Eli Apple’s 22-yard pass-interference penalty helped prolong an Atlanta drive that ended with a fourth-down incompletion from the Saints 2.

Apple drew one other cross interference name, this one a 35-yarder, and on the following play Ryan discovered tight finish Jaeden Graham for an 18-yard landing cross that minimize the Saints’ result in 7-6, following Younghoe Koo’s missed further level.

Koo additionally missed a 42-yard discipline objective earlier than making a 45-yarder with Three seconds remaining within the first half. Koo was good from 43 yards late within the recreation.

With Jones lacking a recreation for the primary time since 2016, and Atlanta tight ends Austin Hooper and Luke Stocker held out with accidents, Ryan needed to search for new targets.

Ryan threw a 13-yard landing cross to Russell Gage with lower than 4 minutes remaining. Christian Blake had six catches for 57 yards.


Saints: Kiko Alonso left the sport with a thigh harm. … The offensive line remained short-handed as left deal with Terron Armstead was inactive after leaving final week’s win over Carolina with an ankle harm. Left guard Andrus Peat missed his third straight recreation since breaking his arm in opposition to Atlanta on Nov. 10.

Falcons: Left guard James Carpenter left the sport with a concussion within the first half. Jamon Brown, who misplaced his beginning job at proper guard to Wes Schweitzer, returned to the sport following Carpenter’s harm. … Backup offensive deal with Ty Sambrailo suffered a hamstring harm.


The Saints return dwelling to play San Francisco on Dec. 8.

The Falcons play their fifth straight recreation in opposition to an NFC South rival once they face Carolina on Dec. 8. The Falcons beat the Panthers 29-Three on Nov. 17.

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