There were high hopes for Derek Carr in New Orleans. After the post-Drew Brees era featured Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, and Trevor Siemian as starting quarterbacks, a reliable steady quarterback like Carr sounded like a good idea.
Even better when you consider the weapons he inherited: Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed. Speedy, dynamic receivers galore. Mixing in a quarterback who can feed the ball but just needs open targets was going to be a dream setup.
That is, until it wasn't. The Saints aren't even lukewarm on offense, they're straight-up ice cold. Carr is missing open receivers. Whether that's something to do with the reads he and Carmichael are strategizing or something else, it's hard to say.
Carr misses the open man and throws to empty space. Or, he misses the easy check-down and throws to the player in double coverage.
The fact that Carr isn't taking more sacks or throwing more interceptions is remarkable, because optically spoethe results should be far worse.
Then, there's body language. Arguably the worst part of this whole situation. Carr, supposed to be a leader of the team, is engaged in shouting matches with Carmichael and Chris Olave throughout the night. Yes, it's frustrating when the playbook isn't working itself out. It's frustrating when a receiver gives up on a route.
But the optics of throwing a borderline tantrum and losing cool on the sideline are not good. Doing it multiple times in one game? Even worse.
As tough or unfair as it is, Carr is expected to keep himself level and steady in these moments. He couldn't do that on Thursday.