Saints Survive Falcons, Clinch Playoff Spot

Drew-BreesDrew Brees came through once again for the New Orleans Saints as the star quarterback helped the defending Super Bowl champions secure a trip back to the playoffs with a 17-14 victory over NFC South leaders Atlanta Falcons.

Brees completed a 6-yard pass to Jimmy Graham for a touch down that turned out to be the winning play with less than four minutes remaining in the game. It was sweet redemption for Brees, who absorbed two interceptions in the fourth quarter as the Falcons took a 14-10 lead. The victory assured Brees and company another shot at the Super Bowl, although winning the NFC South for home field advantage is no longer in their hands.

Despite the loss, the Falcons (12-3) can still clinch the NFC South with a victory over the lowly Carolina Panthers in the finale. The Panthers, who are 2-13, are not expected to give much resistance when they face the Falcons at the Georgia Dome for their season finale, making it almost moot that Atlanta will end up as the top seed in the NFC South.