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Quarterback Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints offense hope to be syncing at right time

'We're all just getting more comfortable with each other. This is some of the things that we saw in training camp that we could be'

Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the New York Giants in Week 15 of the 2023 NFL season.
Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the New York Giants in Week 15 of the 2023 NFL season.

It wouldn't be prudent to go so far as to say every problem has been solved for the New Orleans Saints offense.

But the unit has been efficient and effective when it has needed to be in the last two games, a major reason that the Saints (7-7) have won two straight entering Thursday night against the Rams (7-7) at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

New Orleans and Tampa Bay have the same record, but the Buccaneers currently lead the NFC South Division because they won the first of the two head-to-head matchups. The two teams next will play each other on New Year's Eve in Tampa, Fla.

Meanwhile, the Saints' offense has scored three touchdowns on offense in consecutive games, 28-6 and 24-6 victories over Carolina and the Giants, respectively. Going back one more week, to a 33-28 loss to Detroit, when New Orleans scored four touchdowns, it has posted 10 touchdowns over a three-week stretch. It's the second time the Saints have had such a stretch this season – five touchdowns against Indianapolis, three against Chicago and two against Minnesota in Weeks 8-10.

"We're all just getting more comfortable with each other," quarterback Derek Carr said. "This is some of the things that we saw in training camp that we could be.

"It's been clicking for us. Everyone is on the same page, everyone is doing their job. That sounds so cliché, but that's a big part of it. Everybody just does their job, is at the right spot when you need them, the quarterback getting the ball to them – all those things.

"It's been a lot of fun, it's been nice to see what it can be and what we're hoping to improve on, also. Everybody is doing their job at a high level, and that's what it takes to win, especially late in an NFL season."

Carr is coming off his best game as a Saint (23 of 28 for 218 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions), and has led a red zone push in which the Saints have scored nine touchdowns in their last 10 trips to the red zone over the last three games.

In those games, he has five red zone touchdown passes (three to tight end Jimmy Graham ) and six overall, the sixth being a 23-yarder to tight end Juwan Johnson. On the red zone drives, Carr has completed 7 of 8 passes for 38 yards and the five touchdowns.

He said the unit can continue to improve.

"Really, everything," he said. "We can start better on our first drives. I think our second drives have been good, third drive we get going. There's some things there we can do better.

"We can always improve on third down (39.1 percent this season), that's going to be tough no matter who you're playing. We can always improve there.

"For me, just you're feeling better, the timing is better, guys are in there that you're used to and all that stuff – the accuracy and the efficiency. Those things that, until I'm done playing football, are things that we can always improve on."

For this game, the improvement will have to come in a short week that includes a long trip.

"I've had games like, you're really frustrated after the game and I'm like, I'm glad I don't have to wait until Sunday. And then also after a good game that we have as a team, you're like, can we play today?" Carr said. "You want to get back out there because you feel good.

"I think, really, it's in the mind-set. You've got to set your mind for Thursdays. They're going to happen, whether you want them to or not. And you've got to bring the energy and the effort to have a good day."

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