Saints 17, Falcons 13: Drew Brees passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns and visiting New Orleans sacked Matt Ryan five times and held on for its sixth win in the last seven meetings with Atlanta.
Jimmy Graham caught five passes for 100 yards - including a go-ahead 44-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Fellow tight end Benjamin Watson also caught a touchdown pass and Pierre Thomas added a game-high 73 rushing yards along with five receptions for 57 yards for the Saints (9-2), who maintained a one-game lead in the loss column over Carolina (7-3) in the NFC South.
Ryan was 30-of-39 for 292 yards for the reeling Falcons (2-9), who have lost five straight - their longest streak since a six-game skid in 2007. Steven Jackson rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown and Harry Douglas caught nine passes for 79 yards for Atlanta.
Atlanta drove 76 yards for a touchdown on its first possession with Jackson capping the drive with a 1-yard plunge, but it couldn't sustain the success. The Falcons managed just two field goals the rest of the night and were shut out in the second half.
The Falcons were driving with a chance to take the lead early in the fourth when linebacker Keyunta Dawson forced rookie receiver Darius Johnson to fumble and Corey White recovered at the New Orleans 13. Atlanta again drove inside the 30 but settled for a failed 52-yard field goal attempt with 2:19 left. The Falcons didn't get the ball back until the Saints turned it over on downs with five seconds left.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Brees (49,566) moved past Warren Moon for fifth place on the NFL's all-time list for passing yards. … Graham has six 100-yard receiving games this season, tied with Cincinnati WR A.J. Green for the most in the league and even with Joe Horn for the franchise record. … Atlanta TE Tony Gonzalez. who finished with four catches for 43 yards, has at least one reception in 206 consecutive games - the second-longest streak in NFL history.