Saints end Falcons' unbeaten run, Bengals stun Giants

Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:00am EST
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By Simon Evans

(Reuters) - The Atlanta Falcons' unbeaten run was ended by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday with a 31-27 loss at the Superdome, while defending Super Bowl champions the New York Giants suffered a shock 31-13 loss at the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Buffalo Bills came close to producing another upset against New England but quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a late interception as the Patriots hung on for a 37-31 win.

There was a rarity in San Francisco where the 49ers and Rams tied 24-24 after overtime - the first tie in almost four years.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan passed for three touchdowns and 411 yards but ended on the losing team for the first time this season as the Saints (4-5) showed they may still have a slight sniff at a place in the playoffs.

Tight end Jimmy Graham had a stellar day for New Orleans with two touchdowns and 146 yards on seven receptions while quarterback Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns and 298 yards.

The Falcons were foiled at the end by two strong stands from the oft-criticized Saints' defense with the game saved by brilliant defensive work from cornerback Jabari Greer.

Atlanta had fourth and goal from the Saints' two-yard line with 1:46 on the clock when Ryan passed the ball towards receiver Roddy White in the middle of the end zone but Greer threw himself at the ball and batted it away.

While the result will change little in the NFC South standings, the game showed the Saints have fully recovered from their 0-4 start and the Falcons (8-1) may have some work left to do if they are to be a real threat in the playoffs.   Continued...

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws under pressure from New York Giants during the first half of play in their NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, November 11, 2012. REUTERS/John Sommers II