Offense was on display Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as quarterback Tom Brady guided the New England Patriots to touchdowns on their first three possessions and a 30-13 halftime lead over the New Orleans Saints.
Brady passed for 177 yards and was 5 for 5 on third down in the opening quarter. Tight end Rob Gronkowski was a handful for the Saints as he caught five passes for 95 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown reception.
Quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints offense tried to keep pace but had to settle for two Wil Lutz field goals after they marched inside the red zone. Brees did connect with receiver Brandon Coleman on a 5-yard scoring pass in the second quarter. The Saints could have tried another field-goal attempt late in the second quarter but elected to try for it on fourth-and-three. Brees' pass to Ted Ginn Jr. fell incomplete. The Pats took the ball and marched to a 28-yard field goal by Stephen Gostowski as the half ended.
The Saints got their first stop when linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha sacked Brady on third-and-8 but the Pats were 5 of 7 on third down in the opening half. The Saints were 2 of 6.
New Orleans Saints stats
Drew Brees, 12 of 21 for 186 yards and one TD.
Mark Ingram II, four carries for 10 yards
Brandon Coleman, two catches for 47 yards and a TD
New England Patriots stats
Tom Brady, 19 of 25 for 302 yards and three TDs
Mike Gillislee, seven carries for 28 yards and a 2-yard TD run
Rob Gronkowski, five catches for 95 yards and a TD