Houston – The word "frustration" was a popular one inside the New Orleans Saints' locker room on Sunday after a 20-13 loss to the Texans at NRG Stadium.
Across the board, it was not the performance that the Saints (3-3) wanted or expected. But New Orleans did receive a few individual performances that were of note.
OFFENSE: Numbers-wise, quarterback Derek Carr had his most productive day as a Saint, completing 32 of 50 passes for 353 yards and a touchdown, with an interception. He connected on three deep passes – a 34-yard touchdown to Rashid Shaheed, a 51-yard completion to Shaheed and a 24-yarder to Chris Olave. But when the production doesn't lead to touchdowns, it's minimized. There's something to build on there, but it has to begin to lead to more touchdowns for the offense, especially in the red zone.
DEFENSE: Carl Granderson is blossoming before our eyes. The defensive end had another standout game: a sack for a 10-yard loss, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hit and six tackles. If opponents aren't going to devote special attention to him, eventually he's going to make them pay. As good as Granderson was, though, he'll share this one with linebacker Demario Davis, who finished with a team-high 11 tackles, with a sack, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and a pass defensed in the end zone. The Saints' defense settled in the second half and allowed only a field goal, and those two led the way.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Punter Lou Hedley averaged 42 yards, gross and net, on three punts. No return yards were allowed on his kicks, and one was fair caught. On a day where not much went right in the kicking game, Hedley at least was steady and the cover teams did their part.