Cincinnati - A methodical New Orleans Saints offense had its way with the Cincinnati Bengals defense in taking a 35-7 halftime lead Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Saints had scoring drives of 15 plays, six plays, nine plays, nine plays and one play while dominating time of possession (19:33 of the 30 minutes). Quarterback Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes - passing Brett Favre for second all-time at 509 - and Alvin Kamara scored on a 4-yard run and a 1-yard run. Michael Thomas caught the first touchdown pass, a tough 7-yard grab in the front corner of the end zone, and Mark Ingram scored the second on a powerful, tackle-busting 28-yard screen pass.
Saints safety Marcus Williams nearly got into the scoring when he intercepted Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and returned it 78 yards to the Bengals' 17-yard line. Brees cashed in on the next play with a 17-yard scoring pass to Thomas.
The Saints did lose starting left tackle Terron Armstead to a shoulder injury in the first half. He was replaced by veteran Jermon Bushrod.
Thomas passed the record set by Odell Beckham Jr. for most catches in the first 40 games of a career. He now has 271 through the first half.
Key Saints stat leaders
Drew Brees, 18 of 20 for 214 yards with three TDs
Mark Ingram, seven carries for 41 yards, three catches for 58 yards and one TD
Alvin Kamara, seven carries for 33 yards and two TDs, four catches for 46 yards
Michael Thomas, six catches for 62 yards with two TDs