Drew Brees playing one good half was more than enough for the New Orleans Saints against the rudderless Carolina Panthers.
Brees shook off a slow start to throw for 260 yards and three touchdowns and run for another score as the Saints stayed competitive in the NFC South race with a 31-6 win over the Panthers Sunday.
Marques Colston caught seven passes for 93 yards and a TD for the Saints (5-6), who snapped a two-game losing streak. They remained two games behind division-leading Tampa Bay heading to Sunday's home game against the Buccaneers.
The Panthers (4-7) lost their fourth straight game, dropped to 0-5 at home and were booed again by their fans after another mistake-filled performance that led David Carr to be benched early in the fourth quarter.