Falcons 24, Saints 17

Joe Horn swallowed his pride and admitted he was wrong. Yes, the Atlanta Falcons have a pretty good team, a worthy rival to his New Orleans Saints.

"It's a rivalry now," Horn said after firing up the Falcons by arguing to the contrary.

Michael Vick flew through the air like Superman on a touchdown run, and the Falcons slowed down the New Orleans's offense for a 24-17 victory today -- their second victory over the Saints in four weeks.

"They whipped us twice," Horn said. "They beat us. We are 0 and 2 against the Falcons. I'm a man. I can admit that."

Atlanta (6-3-1) extended its unbeaten streak to six and crept within a half-game of New Orleans (7-3) in the NFC South.

The Falcons were fired up by Horn, who claimed the Falcons were lucky to win the first meeting, 37-35, on a field goal as time ran out. He also said the Falcons were basically a one-man team, relying on Vick to carry them all the way to the Super Bowl.

The Falcons haven't lost since an Oct. 6 defeat against Tampa Bay dropped them to 1-3. Vick put on another dazzling performance before a raucous Georgia Dome crowd of 70,382 -- the second-largest turnout in Falcons history.

The most spectacular play came in the third quarter.

On third and goal from the New Orleans 7, Vick took a shotgun snap, tucked the ball under his right arm and took off for the right corner. With several Saints closing in, he didn't appear to have room to reach the end zone.

But Vick switched the ball to his left hand, planted his right foot at the 2 and launched his body toward the goal line. Somehow, he managed to stick the ball across before a defender sent him sprawling out of bounds. The play gave Atlanta a 14-0 lead.

Falcons quarterback Michael Vick passed for two scores, ran for another as Atlanta moved within a half-game of New Orleans.