New Orleans 45 – Atlanta 16

Drew Brees set a new NFL record for yards passing in a season, and the New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons 45-16 on Monday night to clinch the NFC South title. Brees passed for 307 yards and four touchdowns, the last of which was a 9-yard completion to Darren Sproles that set the NFL record with 2:51 to play. The toss to Sproles was Brees’ final pass of the game, giving him 5,087 yards passing – three more than Dan Marino’s 5,084 yards for the Miami Dolphins in 1984.

After trailing 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, New Orleans (12-3) surged ahead  21-10, after Brees completed touchdown passes on two second-quarter drives. Atlanta (9-6) fell further behind after the Saints added 10 additional points in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, New Orleans’ defender Malcolm Jenkins returned a recovery of a Julio Jones fumble 30 yards for a score, which all but decided the final outcome with 11:09 remaining.

Marques Colston caught seven passes for 81 yards and a touchdown for New Orleans. Robert Meachem had three receptions for 75 yards and a score for the Saints. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 373 yards and a touchdown. Falcons’ receiver Julio Jones caught eight passes for 128 yards and a score, and Roddy White added 11 receptions for 127 yards for Atlanta.

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