Two Saints in court day after loss to Atlanta - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Two Saints in court day after loss to Atlanta

Posted: Updated: Nov 30, 2012 12:07 PM

WASHINGTON (KNOE 8 News & AP) - New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive lineman Will Smith are attending a hearing in their appeals of bounties suspensions.

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is scheduled to testify Friday. Vilma and Smith traveled to Washington after playing in New Orleans' 23-13 loss at Atlanta on Thursday night.

Neither player was required to attend Friday, but Smith said this week that "part of the things that we wanted all along was to face our accusers." The players' lawyers have the chance to cross-examine Williams as part of the appeals process overseen by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons got some revenge and are on the verge of clinching the NFC South title with a month left in the regular season.

Atlanta's defense intercepted Drew Brees five times en route to a 23-13 victory over the visiting Saints, improving to 11-1 on the season. New Orleans handed the Falcons their only loss earlier this month.

Atlanta also kept Brees from throwing a touchdown pass, ending his NFL-record streak of tossing for a TD at 54 consecutive games. He had an apparent scoring pass to Darren Sproles late in the first half, but it was nullified by a penalty.

The Falcons will secure the division title Sunday, if Tampa Bay loses to Denver. The Saints fall to 5-7 and their playoff chances are iffy, at best.

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