Saints' Ongoing Offensive Struggles: Battling Inconsistency to Find Sync

The New Orleans Saints' offense has been plagued by miscommunication issues this season, and head coach Dennis Allen is growing increasingly frustrated. The Saints went 0-3 in the red zone last week against the Houston Texans and those problems continued into Thursday night's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, with the team failing to score a touchdown until the start of the fourth quarter.

Allen said that he and offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael have discussed simplifying the playbook in an effort to get everyone on the same page. He also said that the team needs to do a better job of "playing matchup ball" and taking advantage of favorable matchups.

One example of the Saints' communication problems came on a 3rd-and-5 play with 10:44 left in the game against the Jaguars. Quarterback Derek Carr threw an incompletion to wide receiver Chris Olave, and Allen said that Olave did not run the route the way it was supposed to be run.

Carr appeared to be yelling in Olave's direction after the play, and he has admitted that he needs to do a better job of controlling his emotions. He said that he has been "showing my emotions a little too much on my sleeve" and that he needs to "chill out" and be a "calming influence" on the sideline.

The Saints have discussed communication at length in the past week, with team captains urging everyone to look in the mirror and take accountability. But the Saints weren't able to turn things around on a short week.

"It's not like we're not trying to communicate," wide receiver Michael Thomas said. "There's no guys that are defiant. I just don't know if everyone's definition of communication is the same."

The one positive the Saints took away from the game was their success with the hurry-up offense in the fourth quarter. Allen said that running up-tempo gave the team a spark and could be used going forward.

Ultimately, the Saints failed to tie the game from the Jaguars' 6-yard line, leaving running back Alvin Kamara to lament missed opportunities again.

"I think that's an advantage to the offense. We like getting into that two-minute or up-tempo kind of offense," Kamara said. ''We have a lot of advantages. I think we left some opportunities out there though. I think there are some matchups that we still have to take advantage of. We have to play matchup ball. It is tough because sometimes I think we are not playing matchup ball. We are just playing."

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