Through about the first quarter and a half Sunday, the New Orleans Saints' offensive unit resembled a bunch still enjoying their bye week.

The swarming, bullying Saints defense created numerous opportunities to hammer the Buffalo Bills into submission early. But penalties, a lack of execution and two missed Garrett Hartley field goals allowed the Bills to linger -- and even take a lead.

That served as the wake-up call as quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints' offense promptly ended the first half with two impressive scoring drives, propelling New Orleans to a 35-17 win over the Bills in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The win keeps the Saints (6-1) in the thick of the race for the NFC's best record and firmly atop the NFC South.