3 Saints to blame for losing NFC South control with Falcons defeat

The New Orleans Saints conceded the NFC South lead to the Atlanta Falcons with red zone struggles and defensive deficiencies.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr
New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Derek Carr

The decision to bring Derek Carr to New Orleans looks worse with each game.

The quarterback passed for 304 yards but failed to score a touchdown for the second consecutive game. Even worse, he gifted the Falcons a touchdown with a red zone interception that Jessie Bates III returned 92 yards for the score. To say the throw was ill-advised would be an understatement of epic proportions. A veteran quarterback like Carr should know better.

The red zone struggles for Carr were a massive issue in general. He racked up those passing yards because the Saints were able to move the ball down the field fairly well. But they couldn't cap drives with touchdowns, settling for six field goal attempts. Blake Grupe hit five of his kicks, but field goals weren't enough to keep the Saints in the game.

The frustrating thing is the game was within reach. Even slightly better red zone efficiency wins the game for New Orleans. This is the kind of game the Saints will rue at the end of the season if they miss the playoffs.

Carr's red zone inaccuracy and penchant for setting up his receivers to take big hits cost the Saints against the Falcons. He's not worth his contract at this point.