Indianapolis - Drew Brees made his first appearance of the 2014 preseason Saturday night and while it was brief - just three series - the New Orleans Saints' star quarterback was his normal efficient self as he threw for 128 yards and two touchdown passes.
That strong start pushed the Saints to a 23-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. And while the finally score was close when Brees and the rest of the starters were in the game the Saints (3-0) dominated.
Brees left the game before the first quarter was over with the Saints ahead 14-7 after he had completed nine of 15 passes, including a 3-yard scoring pass to fullback Austin Johnson and a 13-yard scoring toss to receiver Marques Colston. Brees also connected with star tight end Jimmy Graham on a 38-yard completion.
The Saints' defense was equally as dominant in the first half as they held the Colts (0-3) to just 132 yards of offense. The game marked the Saints debut of safety Jairus Byrd and cornerback Champ Bailey. While neither played extensively it was the first time this preseason that the Saints had most of their defensive starters available to play.
Safety Kenny Vaccaro marked an acrobatic interception of an Andrew Luck pass and defensive end Cameron Jordan had another strong outing. The Saints held Luck in check as the talented QB finished 10 of 18 for 103 yards with one TD and the interception.
Mark Ingram led the Saints in rushing with eight carries for 46 yards while Pierre Thomas led in receptions with four catches for 66 yards.
About the only negative from the Saints' performance Saturday night was the high number of penalties - 10 for 84 yards. While that is half as many as last week's debacle against the Titans it's still more than Coach Sean Payton would want.
The Saints wil play their final preseason game Thursday at 7 p.m. against the Baltimore Ravens in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.