It didn't take long for Miami to figure out how good Drew Brees and the Saints offense is. Brees threw two touchdowns in the first half, leading New Orleans to a 21-10 halftime lead.
The Saints got off to a good start, receiving the opening kickoff and proceeding to drive 82 yards for a touchdown. New Orleans needed just six plays, with Darren Sproles racking up 57 total yards and the touchdown. Miami wasn't quite as impressive on its opening drive, but the Dolphins were still able to respond with points. Miami drove into the New Orleans red zone, but had to settle for a field goal.
The opening drives made it seem like the game could quickly turn into an offensive shootout, but the defenses found some success. The teams traded punts to end the first quarter. Miami was mounting a drive at the start of the second quarter before Curtis Lofton stripped Ryan Tannehill, leading to a New Orleans recovery.
New Orleans capitalized on the turnover, thanks in large part to Sproles. Brees found him several times out of the backfield, including on a third-and-20 conversion. The drive capped with Brees hitting Jimmy Graham for a 27-yard touchdown.
Like they did after the Saints' first score, the Dolphins responded. Marcus Thigpen broke free for a 50-yard reception and Lamar Miller capped the drive two plays later with a 5-yard touchdown run. Miami had a chance to add more points before the half before Jabari Greer jumped a slant route and intercepted Tannehill deep in Dolphins territory. The Saints struggled initially, but Brees found Sproles once again for a 13-yard touchdown to give the Saints a 21-10 lead.
Miami had more offensive balance in the first half, rushing for 96 yards and throwing for 128 yards. New Orleans didn't have much success on the ground, running for just 10 yards. The Saints, however, utilized a short passing game instead with Sproles finishing the first half with 114 receiving yards, most of which came after the catch.