Well, so much for the Falcons doing the 49ers a favor in the NFC playoff race.
San Francisco likely was cheering for Atlanta to beat New Orleans on Thanksgiving, but alas, no such luck.
The Saints outlasted the Falcons' comeback attempt, closing the NFL's Week 13 Thanksgiving slate with a 26-18 road win in Atlanta. Their job was made easier by the fact that Falcons standout receiver Julio Jones missed the game with an injury.
With the win, New Orleans clinched the NFC South and improved to 10-2 on the season, now just a half-game behind San Francisco (10-1) for the No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC. The 49ers travel to Baltimore to face the AFC North-leading Ravens (9-2) on Sunday, and then will go to New Orleans to face the Saints in an NFC contender showdown in Week 14. If the 49ers were to lose at least one of those games, they likely would lose their grip atop the conference.
After those two road games, though, San Francisco hosts Atlanta at Levi's Stadium in Week 15. So, the 49ers will have an opportunity to show their appreciation -- or lack thereof -- to the Falcons.
NFL playoff picture: How 49ers stand in NFC after Saints' Week 13 win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area