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Falcons clinch No. 2 seed with win over Saints

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Atlanta Falcons

Michael Vick will participate in a ceremony before today's regular season finale between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints.

Vick rejuvenated his career with a couple productive seasons in Philadelphia, but the Falcons found consistent success with Ryan at quarterback.

It was only the second time Vick returned for a game at the Georgia Dome since he was sent to prison for charges related to dog fighting in 2007.

The second half was essentially a chance for Atlanta fans to serenade Ryan with chances of "MVP! MVP!"

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Romo returned last Thanksgiving against the Panthers, only to re-injure his collarbone which ended his season once again. The Dallas backup entered the game for the third Dallas series and promptly drove the Cowboys for a go-ahead touchdown.

After Devonta Freeman broke free for a 75-yard touchdown run, Ryan had touchdown passes to Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Justin Hardy. The NFC South-champion Falcons (11-5) earned the No. 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye with the victory.

Next year is here on New Year's Day when the Saints battle the Falcons on Sunday.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had an outstanding game, with four touchdowns and no interceptions, and strengthened his case to win the league's Most Valuable Player award. Look for him to go off in spectacular fashion against a Saints defense he knows all too well. After a punt, the Saints ran the ball for 46 yards on just two carries with Mark Ingram, and then he punched in a short touchdown. Mark Ingram's two-point attempt failed. They were forced into a fourth down situation Brees easily converted to Michael Thomas, forced into another fourth down they converted, and they were able to score, kick the extra point, and make it 38-32.

Saints coach Sean Payton is facing questions about his future after a third straight 7-9 season. New Orleans would love nothing more than to ruin the final regular season game in the history of the Georgia Dome. New Orleans, however, has won 15 of the last 21 meetings, dating back to the 2006 season. The Falcons must improve upon that if they are going to have any shot of containing the Saints offense.

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