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Halftime update: Saints lead Patriots 21-7

Three TD passes give Saints big lead

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees saw his first action of preseason on Saturday as the Saints played the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and boy was he sharp.

Brees was 8 of 10 for 159 yards with touchdown passes to Benjamin Watson (10 yards) and Brandin Cooks (45 yards) as the Saints grabbed a 21-7 halftime lead.

The Patriots' franchise quarterback, Tom Brady, wasn't nearly as effective as he finished 2 of 5 for 13 yards. Brady was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Chris Harper at the end of the second quarter.

Luke McCown subbed in for Brees in the second quarter and led the Saints on another scoring drive capped by a 6-yard pass to tight end Josh Hill.

Mark Ingram led the Saints in rushing in the first half with six carries for 18 yards while Cooks was the top receiver with four catches for 117 yards. Ingram also had three catches for 45 yards.

The Saints had 251 yards of offense in the first half.

Official team photos of fans from the New Orleans Saints vs New England Patriots game on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Photos by Michael C. Hebert and Matthew Sharpe. New Orleans Saints photos.

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