Instant Replay: Saints 23, Colts 17

What did we learn: This just in...the Saints' starters are pretty good. New Orleans played most of its starters in the first half against Indianapolis, which was the AFC South and a playoff game last year. The result was a 20-10 lead at halftime. The saints were effective on offense with quarterback Drew Brees and his backup Luke McCown each playing one quarter. The Colts offense sputter against a first-string Saints defense that flew over the field and was able to get consistent pressure on quarterback Andrew Luck.

Welcome back: Brees, in his first action of the preseason, led the Saints on a 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive on the first possession of the game. He had a 10-yard scramble on a third down. He also threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to fullback Austin Johnson.

Midseason form: Brees only played one quarter (14 minutes, 28 seconds to be exact) and completed 9 of 14 passes for 128 yards and two touchdown passes in the first quarter.

It's the thought that counts: Marrero native and Colts veteran receiver Reggie Wayne, playing in his first game of the preseason after suffering a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament last season, caught a pass on the team's first offensive play. But the gain was nullified when Indianapolis receiver T.Y. Hilton was penalized for being offsides.

Ooops: Luck threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to tight end Coby Fleener to tie the score at 7 in the first quarter. Fleener was wide open on the play, and the result was because of a mistake by Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton. Lofton was supposed to follow Fleener down the middle on the post route in a cover-two defense, but left him go.

Nice fake: After scoring his touchdown, Fleener jogged up to the goalpost and faked like he was going to dunk, but didn't. Maybe the $30,000 fine Jimmy Graham got for his two goalpost dunks in last week's game against the Tennessee Titans entered his mind.

Goal-line stand: The second-string Saints defense stopped the second-string Colts offense inside the New Orleans 1-yard line on a fourth-down run Dan Herron in the third quarter.

He flies through the air: If Saints cornerback Brian Dixon, a rookie from Northwest MIssouri State, makes the Saints cirlcle the interception he had in the third quarter. Dixon covered Josh Lenz one on one in the end zone on a fade route and leaped high in the air to intercept a pass form Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck

Coming up: The Saints play host to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in their final preseason game on Thursday.