The New Orleans Saints defense came to play in the first half vs. the Detroit Lions on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as the Saints grabbed a 31-10 halftime lead.
Saints defensive end Alex Okafor started things with a strip-sack of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Safety Kenny Vaccaro jumped on the loose ball on for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
Linebacker Craig Robertson set up another score with an exceptional strip-fumble recovery in the second quarter. The defense also stopped the Lions on fourth-and-goal from the 5 at the end of the half.
The only chink in the defense's armor was a 45-yard touchdown pass to Lions receiver Golden Tate who shed a couple of would-be tacklers on the play.
The Saints' offense, which had starting left tackle Terron Armstead and receiver Drew Brees playing for the first time this season, also was clicking. Running back Mark Ingram II had a 51-yard run that set up a 20-yard scoring pass from Drew Brees to receiver Ted Ginn Jr. Ingram had two scoring runs, a 1-yarder and a 2-yarder, both in the second quarter.
Wil Lutz added a 41-yard field goal. Matt Prater made a 41-yarder for the Lions.
Brees passed the 55,000-yard with the Saints during the half.
New Orleans Saints key stats
Drew Brees, 12 of 14 for 148 yards and one TD
Mark Ingram, 14 carries for 83 yards and two TDs
Ted Ginn Jr., four catches for 66 yards and one TD
Detroit Lions key stats
Matthew Stafford, 12 of 20 for 153 yards and one TD
Ameer Abdullah, eight carries for 46 yards
Golden Tate, four catches for 88 yards and one TD