Drew Brees and an improved Saints defense spoiled the homecoming of current Arizona Cardinals players and former LSU stars Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Brees passed for 346 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a touchdown, and the defense was tough all game long as the Saints (3-0) defeated the Arizona Cardinals 31-7 on Sunday.

Both teams scored touchdowns on their first possessions of the game. Arizona led 7-0 when running back Alfonso Smith ran around right end for a 3-yard touchdown to finish an 11-play, 80-yard drive.

But the Saints came back to tie the score at 7 when Brees threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to receiver Robert Meachem to cap an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive.

The Saints finished the first-half scoring when Brees threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham with 2:52 left in the second quarter.

Brees increased the Saints lead to 24-7 when he ran up the middle for a 7-yard touchdown with 14:42 remaining in the game.