ATLANTA (AP) — Deion Jones made a leaping interception in the end zone with 1:25 remaining and the Atlanta Falcons held on for a crucial 20-17 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night, setting up a three-way race for the NFC South title.

Matt Ryan shook off three interceptions to guide the Falcons to Matt Bryant’s 52-yard field goal with 3:49 to go, snapping a 17-all tie.

The Saints (9-4) were in position to pull out the victory, driving to the Atlanta 11 after Drew Brees converted on fourth-and-1 with a quarterback sneak. On second down, Brees attempted to hit tight end Josh Hill in the back of the end zone.

Jones had other ideas. He leaped high to make the pick , landing flat on this back but holding on. The Falcons (8-5) climbed within one game of the division-leading Saints with three weeks to go.

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Comments
  1. Gary Hart says:

    Although one can appreciate Payton trying to win the game and Jones making an extraordinary catch to prevent that, I think the coach should have tried running the ball in while he still had time to try for a not-guaranteed field goal to force overtime. It is a shame that New Orleans had three interceptions and still lost the game.

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