The New Orleans Saints raced out to a 24-6 halftime lead over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Drew Brees, who is a battling a tear of his right plantar fascia, started the game and immediately went about carving up the Jaguars' defense. His first touchdown pass was a 17-yard back-shoulder throw to tight end Michael Hoomanawanui to cap a 10-play, 80-yard opening drive.
Brees struck again with a 71-yard scoring bomb to receiver Brandin Cooks, who earlier in the game moved past 1,000 yards receiving for the season. The Saints quickly got the ball back when defensive end Bobby Richardson intercepted Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles on a pass deflected by cornerback Delvin Breaux.
After a 27-yard screen pass to Tim Hightower, the veteran running back scored on a 1-yard dive.
The Saints were not forced to punt until their fourth possession. They added a 37-yard Kai Forbath field goal after Breaux set the team up with good field position with a sideline interception of Bortles.
Brees was 14 of 22 for 251 yards and two TDs. Hightower had 12 carries for 37 yards and a TD. Cooks was the top receiver with four catches for 107 yards and a TD.
The Jaguars scored on their final possession of the half on a 2-yard pass from Bortles to Marqise Lee. The two-point conversion attempt failed. Bortles finished the half 9 of 14 for 80 yards and the touchdown.