For fans of offensive football, the first half between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams did not disappoint Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The top two teams in the NFC combined for seven touchdowns - five by the Saints - and more than 500 yards as the Saints (6-1) grabbed a 35-17 lead. The Saints finished the half with 313 yards of offense, 24 first downs and held the ball for 18:37. They were 4 of 5 on third down and 1 for 1 on fourth down.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes - a 16-yarder to Alvin Kamara, a 4-yarder to Tre'Quan Smith and a 14-yarder to Benjamin Watson. Brees was a surgical 17 of 22 for 211 yards.
The Rams (8-0) scored on a 8-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley and a 4-yard touchdown pass to former Saint Brandin Cooks.
It looked the Rams would gain the upper hand when they forced a Mark Ingram fumble with the score tied at 14-14 but the Saints defense held, stopping punter Johnny Hekker on a fake field-goal attempt. Linebacker Craig Robertson made the hit that kept Hekker just short of the first down at the 13-yard line.
Linebacker Alex Anzalone intercepted Rams quarterback Jared Goff with 59 seconds to play to set up the Saints' final score, a 1-yard run by Kamara. He scored the game's first touchdown on an 11-yard scamper and finished the half with three touchdowns.
Key Saints stat leaders
Brees, 17 of 22 for 211 yards with three TDs
Ingram, six carries for 21 yards
Kamara, nine carries for 50 yards and two TDs, four catches for 34 yards and one TD
Thomas, six catches for 83 yards