Rapid Reaction: Saints 17, Falcons 14

December, 27, 2010
12/27/10
11:48
PM ET
ATLANTA -- I’m heading downstairs for interviews and will be back with more in a bit. But first, a quick Rapid Reaction to the Saints' 17-14 victory.

What it means: The Saints have guaranteed that the race for the NFC South title will go down to the final week of the regular season. The victory makes them 11-4, but they still trail Atlanta (12-3) by a game. The division title remains possible if the Saints win their final game and the Falcons lose. Even if that doesn’t happen and Atlanta ends up with the home-field advantage, the Saints already have shown they can win in the Georgia Dome.

Heroes: Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. The veteran quarterback and the rookie tight end hooked up on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 3:24 remaining to put the Saints ahead to stay.

Play that should be banned from the Saints’ playbook: The shovel pass. Brees threw it twice Monday night. He got away with it once. But defensive lineman Chauncey Davis picked him off and returned it for a touchdown on the second attempt.

What’s next: The Falcons wrap up the regular season at home Sunday against Carolina. The Saints conclude their regular season Sunday against Tampa Bay in the Superdome.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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