Taysom Hill has won both his starts as the New Orleans Saints quarterback, even if has last game left a lot to be desired throwing the football. Hill was just 9 of 16 for 78 yards with an interception (43.2 passer rating) in New Orleans' 31-3 victory over Denver -- missing a few reads and struggling to release the football over the course of the game.
The Saints ran the football 44 times -- or 69.9% of the time -- in the victory, which wasn't a direct result of Hill struggling to throw the football. Running the ball was part of the game plan, thanks to the Broncos' quarterback dilemma regarding COVID-19.
"Going into the game, the game plan changed in the last 24 hours so my mindset changed as well," Hill said. "I really became a game manager at that point and certainly the way Sean [Payton] called the game reflected that. We're not going to take any unnecessary risks that put our defense in a bad situation.
"We weren't adding or taking away plays, but the way that the game was going to be called and our first-and-second down calls changed dramatically. It really just boiled down to the way Coach was going to call the game."
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The Saints committed to running the football throughout the game, running 10 consecutive plays on their first touchdown drive -- which was all New Orleans needed to pull off the victory. With 5:36 left in the second quarter, Hill was just 3 of 5 for 3 yards and averaged 0.6 yards per attempt. The Saints quarterback still had 10 carries for 44 yards and two rushing touchdowns -- giving Hill four scores in two games since becoming the starter.
In two games as the starter, Hill is 27 for 40 (67.5%) for 311 yards with an interception (80.1 rating). He also has 20 carries for 93 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, a skill set Payton clearly has implemented into his offense -- playing to Hill's strengths.
No matter Hill's passing numbers, the game plan didn't call for him to sling the ball downfield.
"I thought Taysom played well. He played an entirely different type of game and that had a lot to do with me, relative to how we wanted to play this game," Payton said. "So no, there wasn't anything challenging. I was in his ear 24/7 just about being smart with the football.
"There are a few ways to lose a game like that and we weren't interested in one of those."