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NFL: Atlanta 24, Minnesota 14

Nov. 27, 2011 at 4:37 PM

ATLANTA, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Matt Ryan hurled a trio of fourth-quarter touchdown passes Sunday, staking the Atlanta Falcons to a 24-14 victory over Minnesota.

His 3-yard scoring strike to Michael Palmer with 6:40 remaining in the game gave the Falcons (7-4) some breathing room and Atlanta's defense followed with a goal-line stand to wrap up the win.

Minnesota's Percy Harvin returned the ensuing kick-off all the way to the Atlanta 3-yard line, but the Vikings could not get into the end zone as the Falcons stopped Toby Gerhart on 4th-and-goal from the one.

Ryan finished 27-of-34 through the air for 262 yards as the Falcons stayed on the heels of the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South race.

The Vikings (2-9) went down to their third straight defeat despite a 17-of-25 passing performance from Christian Ponder for 186 yards and a score.

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