ATLANTA -- Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons served notice that they are still dangerous -- and not yet out of the playoff race.
Vick ran for two touchdowns and passed for one score before a late hit knocked him out of the game with bruised ribs, and the Falcons beat the New Orleans Saints last night, 36-17.
If they could play all their games on Monday night, the Falcons might be a lock for more than just a postseason berth: Atlanta is 3-0 in the prime-time slot this season.
Vick improved to 5-0 in his starts against the Saints (3-10), who have lost eight of their past nine games.
Vick had scoring runs of 2 and 17 yards, and he threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to rookie Roddy White on a flea-flicker.
But in the fourth quarter, Vick was slow to get up after taking a late hit from linebacker Ronald McKinnon, who drew a penalty on the play.
Vick stayed in for two more plays before calling a timeout with 9:21 left to play and slowly walking off the field.
Vick was walking on his own power as he was escorted to the locker room.
There was no immediate update on the severity of the injury.
''Mike doesn't miss games. He'll do whatever it takes to get ready to go," Atlanta coach Jim Mora said.
Before facing the Saints, the Falcons (8-5) lost three of four games to fall behind the top six teams in the NFC. The Falcons would lose NFC tiebreakers with two other 8-5 teams, Dallas and Minnesota.
With games left against Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Carolina, the Falcons still face a tough climb to make the playoffs, but they regained momentum against the Saints.
Vick was 12 of 23 for 231 yards with a touchdown and an interception and rushed for 38 yards in his fourth career game with two rushing scores. Alge Crumpler caught three passes for 94 yards.
New Orleans' Aaron Brooks passed for 219 yards and a touchdown, and Antowain Smith rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who seems to thrive in Monday night games, provided the first big play of the game when he stripped the ball from receiver Joe Horn following a third-down catch for first-down yardage in the first quarter.
Hall pulled the ball loose before Horn hit the ground and returned the recovery 20 yards to the Saints 12, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by T.J. Duckett.
Hall had interceptions in each of Atlanta's first two Monday night games this season.
With Atlanta leading, 7-3, following John Carney's 47-yard field goal, the Saints evened the turnover count at 1-1 when Will Smith deflected Vick's pass and Jason Craft returned the interception 19 yards to the 6.
On first down, Antowain Smith bulled through the line for a touchdown and a 10-7 Saints lead.
Vick gave the lead back to Atlanta with his 2-yard dive for the pylon, capping a drive that included a 36-yard pass to Brian Finneran.