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d get help to make the play

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    August 27, 2018 7:19 PM PDT

    NEW ORLEANS - A tenacious play by two backup defenders on Jimmy Grahams catch at the goal line — and a little help from a disputed ruling — helped save Atlantas post-season hopes and ultimately sank the Saints. Cheap NBA Jerseys .New Orleans may have been done in anyway by Julio Jones remarkable return from a hip injury. But the 30-14 Falcons triumph that eliminated the Saints from playoff contention Sunday may be most remembered for officials decision to rule Grahams fourth-quarter catch a fumble instead of a touchdown.Did I think it was a score? Yes, Saints coach Sean Payton said. It looked pretty clear and yet — look — it is what it is, right? They go back to (NFL headquarters in) New York with that and its disappointing.Atlanta (6-9) next meets Carolina (6-8-1) for the NFC South title next week in the Georgia Dome. The Saints (6-9) are left with an anticlimactic visit to Tampa Bay.Grahams fumble came on the first play of the fourth quarter. The star tight end leaped to grab Drew Brees pass and came down at the goal line, his body writhing as he tried to force his way past reserve safety Dezmen Southward. Fellow Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael converged immediately and ripped the ball away, then recovered it.The initial ruling was a fumble and Falcons recovery.Grahams forward progress appeared to have been stopped before the ball came loose, but that was not reviewable.At least one replay angle showed that the ball may have broken the plane of the goal line, and the Superdome crowd roared when it was shown on large video boards. However, referee John Parry could not find evidence conclusive enough to overturn the call. Parrys announcement spawned a cascade of boos from anxious Saints fans, whose team remained down 20-7 with its playoff hopes fading.There was nothing clear and undisputable to make a change to the ruling from the field, Parry said.Graham was not present when locker rooms were opened to reporters.Southward said he never had a good look at whether Graham got in.I was too busy putting my face in his ribs. I was just trying to keep him out, Southward said. All that credit goes to Kemal, obviously coming in and not quitting on the play.Brees said he thought Graham scored, calling the consequences of the ruling, huge.While the play was a momentum changer, Atlanta might have won anyway.After not practicing or playing for about two weeks, Jones caught seven passes for 107 yards.I felt OK. I know I needed to be out there with my teammates, Jones said. When the ball is in the air, I got to get it. I dont hear nothing. I dont feel nothing.Jones made his presence felt with one double-digit-yard reception after another, including third-down catches of 12 and 24 yards during the Falcons first touchdown drive.Matt Ryan completed 30 of 40 passes for 322 yards and a touchdown, and Devonta Freeman ran for a 31-yard score.The Saints committed three turnovers in the fourth quarter in their fifth straight loss at home and were eliminated officially with Carolinas victory over Cleveland.New Orleans still had a chance to drive for a winning score in the final three minutes, but Robert McClains interception in Saints territory set up a Falcons field goal.Osi Umenyiora then returned Brees fumble for an 86-yard TD as time expired. Umenyiora turned and waved goodbye to the Falcons long-time rivals as he trotted downfield on a play that punctuated a resurgent performance for a Falcons defence that was banged up and ranked last in the NFL.Atlanta sacked Brees five times, the most this season for the Falcons defence.Brees finished 30 of 47 for 313 yards and one touchdown to Graham, which pulled the Saints as close as 20-14 with 5:48 to go. Brees was also intercepted by Desmond Trufant on a fourth-down pass in the first half.Seeking to fire up the home crowd in a crucial game, the Saints changed their introductions, turning off the house lights during a pyrotechnic display while fans held up their mobile phones as if at a concert.Fans then went into a frenzy when Jalen Saunders returned the opening kickoff 99 yards to set up Mark Ingrams 1-yard touchdown run.But those celebrations were short-lived as the Falcons scored the next 20 points.Notes: Falcons running back Steve Jackson (quad), safety Williams Moore (shoulder) and cornerback Josh Wilson (hamstring) all left the game and coach Mike Smith did not update their status. ... The Saints lost five straight at home in the same season for the first time since 1980, when Archie Manning was quarterback and New Orleans went 1-15.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL  href="http://www.cheaphornetsjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-miles-bridges-jersey" target="_blank">Miles Bridges Jersey . In taking its goal tally to 99 in all competitions already this season, City delivered another demonstration of its lethal firepower at Etihad Stadium to set up a fourth-round match at home to another second-tier team -- Watford. Devonte Graham Jersey .Y. -- First, Ryan Miller.TORONTO -- As the Toronto Maple Leafs faint playoff hopes hang in the balance, Phil Kessel is expected to play Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames. Kessel suffered a bruised right foot when he was hit with a pass from James van Riemsdyk in the second period Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings. He did not practise Monday, but coach Randy Carlyle said hes available to play. "Its been, I guess, two days of treatment and hes telling us hes ready," Carlyle said. Kessel, the Leafs leading scorer with 36 goals, 41 assists and 77 points, has just two goals and two assists during Torontos eight-game losing streak. Toronto has not picked up a point since March 13 in Los Angeles to fall from second place in the Atlantic Division to out of a playoff spot. Winger Joffrey Lupul said after the crushing loss to Detroit on Saturdday night that he and his teammates would likely have to win out and get help to make the playoffs. Cheap Charlotte Hornets Jerseys. . Asked Tuesday morning if the playoffs were still a realistic possibility, Carlyle brought the focus back to the Flames game. "Its realistic if you win," Carlyle said. "Weve got to win the first one, thats the bottom line. We cant look past tonight. ... We need to win a hockey game, and the first one we need to win is tonight." With the entire roster available to him, Carlyle said there could be lineup changes. Hes contemplating going with 11 forwards and seven defencemen, which would mean the return of injured defenceman Paul Ranger. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier is set to make his fourth straight start since returning from a groin injury. Bernier has allowed four goals in each of his past three games. Cheap Brewers Jerseys Cheap Twins Jerseys Cheap Mets Jerseys Cheap Yankees Jerseys Cheap Athletics Jerseys Cheap Phillies Jerseys Cheap Pirates Jerseys Cheap Padres Jerseys Cheap Giants Jerseys Cheap Mariners Jerseys Cheap Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Rays Jerseys Cheap Rangers Jerseys Cheap Blue Jays Jerseys Cheap Nationals Jerseys ' ' '