NEW ORLEANS - Julio Jones' remarkable return kept the Falcons alive in the NFC South playoff race while Jimmy Graham's fumble at the goal line sank the Saints.

Coming back from a hip injury that had kept him out of practice for two weeks, Jones caught seven passes for 107 yards, and Atlanta remained in playoff contention with a 30-14 victory Sunday.

Matt Ryan completed 30 of 40 passes for 322 yards and a touchdown, and Devonta Freeman ran for a 31-yard score for Atlanta (6-9), which faces Carolina (6-8-1) for the NFC South title next week in the Georgia Dome.

The Saints (6-9), who committed three turnovers in the fourth quarter, lost their fifth straight at home and were eliminated with Carolina's victory over Cleveland.

Graham fumbled inside the Atlanta 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter, though whether he actually scored on the play will remain a matter of debate. He tried to push his way through two defenders before Kemal Ishmael ripped the ball away and recovered.

Atlanta sacked Saints QB Drew Brees five times, the most this season for the Falcons' defense.

Brees finished 30 of 47 for 313 yards and one touchdown.

Falcons 30, Saints 14

Atlanta 3 10 7 10 – 30

New Orleans 7 0 0 7 – 14

First quarter

NO–Ingram 1 run (S.Graham kick), 14:40.

Atl–FG Bryant 44, 11:15.

Second quarter

Atl–FG Bryant 50, 11:48.

Atl–Weems 3 pass from Ryan (Bryant kick), :03.

Third quarter

Atl–Freeman 31 run (Bryant kick), 5:42.

Fourth quarter

NO–J.Graham 4 pass from Brees (S.Graham kick), 5:48.

Atl–FG Bryant 32, 1:56.

Atl–Umenyiora 86 fumble return (Bryant kick), :00.

A: 73,164.

Atl   NO

First downs 18   22

Total Net Yards 403   328

Rushes-yards 22-81   18-57

Passing 322   271

Punt Returns 2-2   1-0

Kickoff Returns 2-49   3-120

Interceptions Ret. 2-5   0-0

Comp-Att-Int 30-40-0   30-47-2

Sacked-Yards Lost 0-0   5-42

Punts 5-44.2   4-50.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-0   3-2

Penalties-Yards 6-64   3-25

Time of Possession 32:09   27:51

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Atlanta, Freeman 5-36, Rodgers 11-29, S.Jackson 4-9, Ryan 2-7. New Orleans, Ingram 13-38, Brees 2-8, K.Robinson 2-7, Toon 1-4.

Passing: Atlanta, Ryan 30-40-0-322. New Orleans, Brees 30-47-2-313.

Receiving: Atlanta, Jones 7-107, White 6-55, Douglas 4-47, Toilolo 4-17, Freeman 3-48, Hester 2-25, S.Jackson 1-14, DiMarco 1-3, Rodgers 1-3, Weems 1-3. New Orleans, Colston 6-80, Stills 6-68, J.Graham 6-53, Toon 3-44, Ingram 3-17, Thomas 2-24, Meachem 1-13, Saunders 1-7, K.Robinson 1-5, Watson 1-2.

Missed Field Goals: None.