Rapid Reaction: Falcons 34, Saints 20

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

ATLANTA -- For the first time in nearly a full year, the Atlanta Falcons have won an NFC South game.

The victory against the Saints was Atlanta's first win against an NFC South foe since the Falcons defeated Carolina on Nov. 11, 2007. Winning a single division game might not seem like that big a deal, but it's huge for the Falcons.

It checks another item off the ever-shrinking list of reasons to question the NFL's most pleasant surprise.

The Falcons, who many thought would be the league's worst team, methodically have been clearing hurdles all season. First, they showed they could win, defeating Detroit and Kansas City early in the season. Then, they showed they could beat a good team on the road, going into Lambeau Field and winning against Green Bay.

Now, they've taken care of the division jinx. So what's next on the checklist for the Falcons?

A division win against Carolina (Nov. 23) or Tampa Bay (Dec. 14)? A winning season? A playoff berth?

With the way this team has grown in the first nine weeks, anything now is possible.