Halftime report: Saints 21, Panthers 6

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Saints lead the Carolina Panthers 21-6 at halftime. Here are a few thoughts on the action so far:

Colston clutch: The Saints offense started slow on Sunday night. They had a three-and-out on their first drive and faced a third-and-9 on their second drive. But then quarterback Drew Brees floated up a pass under pressure, and receiver Marques Colston made a sensational grab to haul it in for a 21-yard gain. After that, the Saints started to get in a rhythm, scoring touchdowns on their next three possessions. Colston caught the first two and has five catches for 74 yards and two scores at the half.

Brees and Colston have connected for 62 touchdown passes since they both joined the Saints in 2006. That's now the most of any active duo in the NFL (seventh most in league history).

Bend but don't break: On the flip side, the Saints defense started slowly, allowing Carolina to move the chains on its first two drives. The Panthers converted 4 of 5 third downs to start the game. But the Saints forced them to settle for field goals on each of the first two drives. After that, the Saints forced an eventual punt, then a three-and-out as the momentum continued to swing in the Saints' favor. Junior Galette and Cameron Jordan each have sacks for New Orleans.

Brees nearing 50,000: Brees is continuing to play out of his mind inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in prime-time games. He is 17-of-21 for 183 yards and three touchdowns tonight. And he now has 42 touchdowns and just four interceptions during the Saints' past 13 home night games (including the playoffs). The Saints won all 12 of those previous games.

And Brees has now thrown for a total of 49,896 yards in his 13-year career. He should be the fifth quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 at some point in the second half.