The Falcons were fighting for the two-seed in the NFC playoffs, and a first-round bye Sunday in Atlanta, and they clinched both with a 38-32 victory over the Saints.
The Falcons racked up five touchdowns in the first half, three coming from the arm of Matt Ryan, who found Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Justin Hardy on the scores. On the ground Atlanta got touchdowns from Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman.
The Saints only touchdown of the first half came on a Tim Hightower 2-yard touchdown run. Will Lutz also contributed to the Black and Gold's scoring output with field goals of 19 and 40 yards.
In the second half the Saints (7-9) offense finally heated up. Drew Brees found Michael Thomas and Travaris Cadet for touchdowns by air, and Mark Ingram punched one in from 1-yard out on the ground. Thomas went over the 1,000 yard mark for receiving in the contest, and Ingram over 1K for rushing.
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