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New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers notebook

Big game for Luke McCown

New Orleans moves to 0-3. The Saints welcome the visiting Dallas Cowboys at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, Oct. 4. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
- Quarterback Luke McCown made the 10th start of his career and his first since he made the start for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 18, 2011 at the New York Jets.
- McCown completed a career-high 31 passes and attempted a career-high-tying 38 passes for 310 yards with one interception. It was McCown's second career game of 300 yards or more, while his 81.5 percent completion percentage was also a career best. McCown's one other start against the Panthers was a 31-23 loss on Dec. 30, 2007, when he completed 21-of-28 for 236 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a 108.6 passer rating.
- McCown was the first QB other than Drew Brees to start for the Saints since Mark Brunell started the 2009 regular-season finale on Jan. 3, 2010 at the Carolina Panthers.
- McCown (Louisiana Tech) was the first QB from a Louisiana college to start a game for New Orleans since Jake Delhomme (Louisiana-Lafayette) made the start on Dec. 24, 1999 vs. Dallas.
- McCown was 6-for-7 for 43 yards on his opening drive, a drive that culminated in a Zach Hocker field goal. It was the first time this season that New Orleans scored on its opening drive of a contest and the first time since Dec. 21, 2014 vs. Atlanta.
- After completing 13 passes in the first quarter, McCown eclipsed a previous career-high of 11 completions in the opening quarter. McCown's 11-for-11 effort came on Dec. 2, 2007 as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 27-23 victory over the Saints in New Orleans.
- McCown's 13 first-quarter completions were the most by a QB in the first quarter of any game since Peyton Manning recorded 13 completions in Week 4 of 2012 vs. the Oakland Raiders. The last Saints QB to record 13 completions in the first quarter was Drew Brees on December 12, 2010 vs. the St. Louis Rams.
McCown was 16-for-17 for 124 yards in the first half, with his 94.1 percent completion percentage being the highest by a Saints QB in the first half since 1991.
- With Luke starting for the Saints and his brother Josh McCown starting for the Browns, Sunday marked the first time that both have started for their respective teams since Dec. 9, 2007. On that day, Josh at Green Bay, completed seven-of-15 passes for 110 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. For Luke, in a 28-14 loss at Houston, he completed 25-of-38 for 266 yards.
- Receiver Marques Colston played in the 136th game of his career, moving him into a tie with Tommy Myers for 18th on the club's all-time games played list.
- With four receptions, Colston moved past Laveranues Coles for 46th on the NFL's all-time receptions list.
Colston's 47 yards receiving were good enough to move him past Rob Moore for 50th on the NFL's all-time receiving yardage list.
- Reveiver Brandin Cooks caught a season-high seven passes for a season-best 79 yards, both game-highs for New Orleans.
- Running back Mark Ingram carried the ball 14 times for 50 yards and one touchdown. He added 49 yards receiving on five catches.
- Tight end Benjamin Watson played in his 150th career NFL game, totaling 42 yards on four receptions. The 42 yards were his most since he recorded five catches for 43 yards in an overtime contest on Oct. 5, 2014 vs. Tampa Bay.
- Linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha registered a sack in his second consecutive game, finishing with six total tackles, including the sack and one tackle for loss.
- Marcus Murphy scored the first touchdown of his career, a 74-yard punt return in the third quarter. The punt return for a touchdown was the 12th in Saints history, with the last occurring by Darren Sproles on Sept. 8, 2011 at Green Bay. Murphy joins Tyrone Hughes (1993) and Reggie Bush (2006) as the third Saints rookie to return a punt for a touchdown.
- In the first quarter, the Saints possessed the ball for 11:55, the highest time of possession they have held in the first quarter since they possessed the ball for 12:03 on Dec. 23, 2012 at Dallas.

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