NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees passed for 312 yards, Ben Watson racked up a career-high 127 yards receiving to go with a fourth-down touchdown catch, and the New Orleans Saints handed the Atlanta Falcons their first loss of the season with a 31-21 victory Thursday night.

Desperate for a win, the Saints (2-4) enjoyed big plays in all phases. Michael Mauti, who grew up near New Orleans after his father, Rich, played for the Saints, blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown, delighting the Superdome crowd with a play reminiscent of Steve Gleason’s famous block against Atlanta in 2006.

Mark Ingram ran for two short touchdowns, and New Orleans’ defense recovered three fumbles, two inside its 20.

Devonta Freeman rushed for 100 yards, including a 25-yard TD, for Atlanta (5-1). Matt Ryan passed for 295 yards and two TDs.

THE NFL suspended side judge Rob Vernatchi for one game for not managing the clock properly in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh’s game at San Diego on Monday night.

After a kickoff that was not returned, 18 seconds ran off the clock. The side judge is in charge of monitoring the game clock, which is kept on the stadium scoreboard.

Vernatchi “will not officiate in Week 6 as a result of the failure to notice that the game clock was incorrectly started,” league spokesman Michael Signora said. Signora added Vernatchi is being taken off the field for one week and then will return to referee Pete Morelli’s crew.

GIANTS: Cornerback Prince Amukamara is going to miss 2 to 4 weeks because of a chest injury.

Amukamara was hurt Sunday night in the victory against San Francisco.

SEAHAWKS: The team suspended fullback Derrick Coleman after police arrested him in a hit-and-run investigation, but his lawyer insisted that if Coleman left the scene at all, it was only because he was dazed.

Coleman was booked into King County Jail in Seattle and denied bail until his first court appearance, which is expected Friday. Bellevue, Washington, officers said they arrested him because he left the scene of the two-car accident Wednesday night.

RAMS: Guard Rodger Saffold will require season-ending surgery for a right shoulder injury.

Saffold was the most experienced player on the offensive line, which has two rookie starters. He was a second-round pick in 2010 and underwent surgery on his left shoulder last year.

TITANS: Rookie outside linebacker Deiontrez Mount will miss the rest of the season after tearing his right ACL at practice.

Mount was injured during practice Wednesday in a non-contact drill.

RAIDERS: The team plans to put defensive end Justin Tuck on season-ending injured reserve because of a torn pectoral muscle.

Tuck was hurt while trying to tackle running back C.J. Anderson early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 16-10 loss to Denver and spent the rest of the game on the sidelines wearing a sling.

EAGLES: Coach Chip Kelly said he hasn’t heard from Southern California Athletic Director Pat Haden or any other schools with openings.

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