Falcons Top Saints + More NFL Headlines
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are back in the hunt for the NFC South title after grinding out a win over the New Orleans Saints.
Deion Jones made a leaping interception in the end zone with 1:25 remaining to secure the Falcons' 20-17 win over the Saints. Drew Brees had just marched New Orleans to the Atlanta 11 before Jones allowed Atlanta to improve to 8-5, one game behind the division-leading Saints.
Matt Bryant's 52-yard field goal broke a 17-all tie with 3:49 to play. Matt Ryan was picked off three times but tossed a game-tying, eight-yard scoring pass to Mohamed Sanu 5:05 into the fourth quarter.
Brees threw scoring passes to Tommylee Lewis and Michael Thomas, but the Saints were held to 50 yards on 15 carries. Alvin Kamara ran the ball just once for two yards before leaving the game with a concussion.
Carolina will move into a tie with the Saints if the Panthers beat the Vikings in Charlotte on Sunday.
Winless Browns fire VP Sashi Brown, keep their coach
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have fired top executive Sashi Brown, but are keeping coach Hue Jackson for another season despite a 1-27 record since he took over last year.
Brown has been replaced by former Kansas City GM John Dorsey, whose Chiefs went 43-21 and reached the playoffs three times in four seasons from 2013-16.
Brown's firing is not unexpected since Cleveland is 0-12 for the second straight season with Brown in charge. The team passed up a chance to draft quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in the past two drafts and Cleveland has shown little sign of improvement since Brown took over.
In other NFL news:
— Eagles tight end Zach Ertz remains in the concussion protocol despite returning to practice on a limited basis Thursday. Ertz took a big hit in Philadelphia's loss at Seattle last weekend.
— Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier underwent surgery on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh to stabilize his spine. The 25-year-old suffered the injury while hitting Cincinnati's Josh Malone in the first quarter of Pittsburgh's 23-20 victory over the Bengals on Monday night.
— Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor had limited mobility in his bruised left knee on Thursday while practicing for the first time since being hurt last weekend. Coach Sean McDermott has listed Taylor as day to day.