Second quarter update: After struggling in the first quarter Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints offense erupted for three touchdowns to take a 21-6 lead over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Brees connected with his longtime favorite target - receiver Marques Colston - for 6-yard and 15-yard scoring passes to end long scoring drives. The first drive was nine plays, 80 yards and ate up 3:21 on the clock. the second scoring drive was 11 plays for 86 yards and took 5:44 off the clock. Brees then led the Saints 76 yards capped by a 5-yard TD pass to tight end Jimmy Graham with 18 seconds left in the half.
Key stats: Saints, Drew Brees, 17 of 21 for 183 yards and three scores, Marques Colston, five receptions for 74 yards and two TDs; Panthers, Cam Newton, 10 of 14 for 53 yards, three rushes for 23 yards.