1. We still aren’t there yet
Much like the 34-0 win earlier against the Patriots, this win says much more about how poor the Saints opponent played than how well the Saints played. The Panthers are 1-12 for a reason, and all the Saints did Sunday was what was expected. It was a sloppy win, as the passing offense sputtered all afternoon and only pulled away when the Panthers defense got tired. The Saints are still going to struggle to make a run at the playoffs despite only being out of first via tiebreaker. It isn’t impossible, but Derek Carr is going to have to play much better than what we saw on Sunday, if this team is going to have any chance at all for the postseason.
2. Jameis Winston should be playing
Derek Carr had a rough game on Sunday against the worst team in the league. If not for the defense and special teams, the Saints would have just barely escaped with a one possession win to the 1-12 Panthers. Couple that with the fact that Derek Carr seems to be very injured, and the Saints really should look to play Jameis Winston down the stretch. Like it or not Carr is the QB for the foreseeable future and playing him while injured just jeopardizes the Saints’ investment in him going forward. It is possible that he will improve if they bring in a new play caller and get better offensive line play, but if Carr pushes too hard and gets further injured, he could miss time going into next season. It just isn’t worth the risk at this point since the drop off between him and Winston is not very large, and some would even say Winston at this point would be better.
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