Brees completed 34 of 43 passes in the 31-9 victory Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Saints (7-1) had 510 total yards and did not allow a sack in the win.
"Felt good, felt really good," Brees told reporters. "Obviously, the last five weeks have been tough just rehabbing, just trying to get healthy again, it was tough.
"Early on I think there was a lot of excitement and the feeling of maybe shaking the rust off a little bit."
The Cardinals (3-4-1) got a 31-yard field goal from Zane Gonzalez to take a 3-0 lead with 5:46 remaining in the first quarter. Wil Lutz tied the game with a 26-yard field goal from the Saints at the start of the second quarter.
Latavius Murray scored an 8-yard rushing touchdown for a 10-3 Saints lead. Gonzalez hit another field goal on the Cardinals' next drive to make the score 10-6 at halftime.
Brees hit Murray with a 15-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter before Gonzalez made his third field goal of the game. The Saints took a 24-9 lead when Brees found Tayson Hill with a 5-yard touchdown pass at the start of the final frame.
Brees hooked up with Michael Thomas for a 9-yard score with 5:23 remaining for the final points of the game.
Murray had 102 yards and a score on 21 carries for the Saints. Thomas had 112 yards and a score on 11 receptions. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray completed 19 of 33 passes for 220 yards in the loss.
"I love the game," Brees said. "I love being out there with my teammates. I think starting practice this week and getting through it, I was hoping this would be the week. This was kind of the week I had in my mind from the moment I got hurt."
"We know we can play better, but we have to get over this one quick with the short week and get ready for Thursday night," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "There is no time to let it linger."