Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/30/12

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 15: Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up before the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 15, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Saints (5-7) came into Atlanta feeling they owned the NFC South division despite their losing record.But after it was all said and done, it was the Falcons (11-1) who got the last word.The Falcons started the game with a purpose.They dominated the battle's first series with 80 yards on six plays for an opening-drive touchdown.Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers were heavily featured on the drive as they rushed the ball five times for 71 yards with Turner finishing the drive on a three-yard rush into the end zone.With that, the Falcons took the first lead of the game and never relinquished it. The two would finish the game with a combined total of 20 rushes for 126 yards.  The momentum the Falcons received on offense with this first drive did not last. Six of the next eight drives for the Falcons ended in punts and none of them lasted for more than five plays. Matt Ryan, who is among the league leaders in passing yards, was held to a season-low 165 yards. This snapped his team record of four consecutive games with at least 300 yards passing. At one point, the Saints' defense forced the Falcons to three straight 3-and-outs.  If it had not been for the outstanding play of the defense, this game could have easily gone in another direction. The one thing Matt Ryan did exceptionally well in this game was limit his turnovers. He had zero turnovers for the first time in four games.This win was solely a defensive victory for the Falcons. They were able to pressure and force Saints' quarterback Drew Brees to make bad decisions and force him to throw a career high five interceptions with safety William Moore pulling down two of them. Even though the defense only managed to sack Brees once, they hit him six times with John Abraham leading the way with the one sack and three quarterback hits.The defense was able to hold Drew Brees without a touchdown pass. Something no other team has done in 3 1/2 years, bringing his record streak to an end at 54 consecutive games.With this victory, the Falcons clinched at least a share of the NFC South Division title, and with a Buccaneers loss on Sunday, the outright division title.
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