QB Derek Carr's TD Drought Hampers Saints' Offense

Saints quarterback Derek Carr faces touchdown drought concerns.

by Nouman Rasool
QB Derek Carr's TD Drought Hampers Saints' Offense
© Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints, grappling with a puzzling offensive identity, continue to display a perplexing inconsistency as they advance into the critical stages of their season. Despite boasting impressive yardage statistics - ranking 11th in passing yards and 12th in total yards - the team's performance is marred by an alarming drought in touchdown passes, especially from their quarterback Derek Carr.

Carr's struggle to find the end zone is a stark contrast to the team's overall offensive capabilities. He has not thrown a touchdown in his last 20 possessions, a concerning trend that dates back to the Saints' encounter with the Chicago Bears on November 5.

In his absence, backup quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill have stepped up, contributing to the team's last three passing touchdowns. The Saints' reliance on their backups highlights their offense's underlying issues.

Their inability to consistently score, particularly in the opening possessions where they have failed to produce even a field goal since Week 4, is a significant concern. The team ranks a dismal 29th in red zone efficiency, undermining their overall yardage gains and ranking only 20th in offensive points per game.

Team Unity and Accountability

Coach Dennis Allen and Carr himself have emphasized the collective nature of the team's challenges. Allen dismisses the notion of singling out individual players, stressing the importance of collective improvement and execution.

Reflecting on his performance this season, Carr prioritizes the team's record over personal statistics, acknowledging both high and low points in his career. The Saints' woes are not limited to their aerial attack. Their ground game has also been lackluster, contributing minimally to their touchdown tally.

Injuries to key players, including wide receivers Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, and Rashid Shaheed, further compound their offensive struggles. These setbacks have forced the Saints to depend on less experienced players like Lynn Bowden Jr., Keith Kirkwood, rookie A.T.

Perry, and practice squad receiver Marquez Callaway. Despite these challenges, Allen remains optimistic about the team's potential, describing their offense as "fast and explosive." This belief, however, is tested by their reliance on infrequent explosive plays and a depleted receiving corps.

The Saints face a critical test as they prepare to match up against the Detroit Lions' high-ranking offense, with much depending on the performance of their backups and the ability to address their red zone inefficiencies.

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