The New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons were two teams with opposite records having opposite seasons heading into their game on Thursday.
The Saints led the NFC South and were hopeful of the postseason. The Falcons were tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for last place in the division.
None of that mattered in the Georgia Dome.
The struggling Falcons played tough, the but Saints held on for a 17-13 victory.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 23 of 33 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns.
The Falcons had leads of 7-0 and 10-7 in the first half. Their first score came on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Steven Jackson on their first possession of the game. The second score came on a 39-yard field goal by Matt Bryant in the second quarter.
But the Saints came back to take a 14-13 lead at halftime.
New Orleans increased its lead to 17-13 in the third quarter when placekicker Garrett Hartley hit a 41-yard field goal.