“Sunday’s win over lowly Carolina ended a three-game skid and gave the Saints a puncher’s chance at winning the NFL’s worst division this season. But the vibes around this team have felt pretty bleak for some time now, manifested in a Superdome crowd that was very much able to contain its enthusiasm as the Saints struggled to put away the Panthers. This is New Orleans. This is a problem. Then again, it’s hard to rev up the excitement, as Derek Carr’s arrival has failed to energize the offense. Carr and Erik McCoy, both team captains, were seen jawing at each other. We know Carr and his receivers haven’t been on the same page often. Oh, and the run defense once again had a rough outing.”
“Biggest improvement: Run game
The Saints opened up the season with Alvin Kamara out on suspension and averaged a meager 2.6 yards per rush in the season opener. The running backs had only four rushing TDs through the first 11 games of the season (two by Tony Jones Jr., who is no longer on the team). Kamara has three rushing touchdowns in the past three games, and the Saints were able to use him and Jamaal Williams last week in tandem for the first time all season. — Katherine Terrell”
“Given that New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr threw for just 119 yards against the Carolina Panthers and the Saints managed just 207 yards of total offense, one might assume that the Saints’ offensive woes had continued into Week 14. Carr even got into a dust-up with center Erik McCoy after a sack.
But Carr threw for a pair of touchdown passes, the Saints scored on special teams, and nothing cures what ails a team quite like playing the one-win Panthers.
While addressing the media after the blowout victory, Carr downplayed the exchange with his center as just two players caught up in the heat of competition.
‘I’m not trying to be negative,’ Carr said.
‘There really is nothing wrong,’ Carr added. ‘We had a moment. I’ve had some of those moments in my 10 years a lot of times, with a coach, with a teammate, somebody. You always circle back and make it right and keep going.’”
“Blowing out the Panthers gets them tied for the division lead. The defense and special teams showed up big in the game, which is a good sign.”
“Congratulations to Mickey Loomis, the ninth NFL general manager credited with 200 victories. But he might need to reach 204 by next month to deem the 2023 season a success.”
AVERAGE RANKING: 22 (0)
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