Derek Carr spent the past week answering questions about his sideline demeanor, but the New Orleans’ quarterback had nothing to apologize for Sunday.

Carr masterfully carved up Indianapolis’ young, depleted secondary, Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara scored two touchdowns apiece, and the Saints beat the Colts 38-27 to move into a share of the NFC South lead.


New Orleans (4-4) ended a two-game skid, and Carr got a chance to move past the criticism he had taken for scolding teammates and yelling at offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael during a Week 7 loss to Jacksonville.

“Gosh, it feels good to smile,” Carr said. “I was at one place for nine years. If I got banged up, everyone in that building knew I was playing that Sunday. If I got upset, they knew where my heart was. But now I’m in a new place, and new things are happening. You have to prove yourself, you have to show guys where you’re coming from, you have to build new relationships. That was something I put on my heart this week. I tried not to be so emotional.”

Things went smoothly against the Colts (3-5). Carr made all the right reads, was on time and watched his receivers take care of the rest.

The four-time Pro Bowler went 19 of 27 for 310 yards with two TDs and no interceptions. Although he lost a fumble, he made big play after big play.

Rashid Shaheed had three catches for a career-best 153 yards, including a 58-yard TD catch, and for the second time this year he helped seal the victory with a long third-down reception in the final minutes. Kamara also caught a TD pass, while Michael Thomas and Chris Olave combined for nine receptions and 114 yards.

“A lot came together for us today,” Carr said. “I felt for the first time all year that all eleven guys on offense played complementary football.”

The Colts, who have lost three straight overall and still have not beaten the Saints since losing the teams’ Super Bowl matchup after the 2009 season, challenged the Saints’ usually stingy defense.

Gardner Minshew was 23 of 41 for 213 yards with two TDs and one interception. Jonathan Taylor rushed for 87 of his 95 yards in the first quarter, while Zack Moss finished with 66 yards and scored on a 1-yard stretch across the goal line.

But Indy’s pass coverage was no match for Carr.

“I think sometimes you try to scheme up explosive (plays), and sometimes you hit on that, and sometimes you don’t,” Colts coach Shane Steichen said. “We’ve got to do a good job creating those explosives and, obviously, on the flip side of that we’ve got to stop them on the other side.”

Carr opened the Saints’ scoring with an 18-yard TD pass to Kamara before hooking up with Shaheed as New Orleans took a 21-20 halftime lead.

Kamara’s 25-yard reception late in the third quarter set up his powerful 16-yard scoring run that made it 28-20. And when Shaheed was awarded a 44-yard catch after a replay review of an apparent interception, Hill capped the drive with a 1-yard scoring run to make it 35-20 with 10:49 to play.

Minshew answered with a 33-yard TD pass to Drew Ogletree with 8:19 left that got the Colts within 35-27. But after a defensive stop, Minshew couldn’t drive Indy for a potential tying score, and the Saints closed it out with a short field goal.