With Drew Brees sidelined by injury this week, the Saints knew they would have to make a decision between their two backup quarterbacks.
If you asked the organization last week, New Orleans might've said Jamies Winston was their clear No. 2 option. That narrative changed quickly after Winston's poor performance taking over for Brees last Sunday. The former Tampa Bay QB struggled in the relief role, throwing for 63 yards and no touchdowns after taking over at halftime.
The Saints decided to go with their most versatile weapon at quarterback in Sunday's matchup with the Falcons. Triple-threat option Taysom Hill has the ability to impact the game at all three offensive levels: rushing, passing and receiving. After four years with New Orleans, Hill notched his first start at QB this afternoon.
For his first game as QB1, things turned out better than the Saints ever could've hoped for.
Hill threw an efficient 18/23 for 233 yards, leading his team to a 24-9 victory. As expected, the mobile quarterback made an impact in the running game as well, rushing for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
The newly-appointed starter did have a couple of blunders though, including a lost fumble.
When asked how he'd grade his performance, Hill didn't go to far to either extreme.
“I don’t know,” Hill told reporters. “I haven’t seen the film yet. At first glance, honestly, I was happy with the game. Disappointed of the fumble and I feel like that was my biggest indicator going into the game was make sure we take care of the ball. Overall, we did that and again I was disappointed of the fumble I had. So maybe a B, B-plus with that.”
The Saints got off to a slow start with Hill under center, only scoring three points in the opening period. The QB said he wasn't too worried about that though.
“Obviously there were some drives that we didn’t take advantage of that we were disappointed in,” Hill said. “I felt like overall we kind of did that to ourselves and so I wasn’t all really worried about it. I felt like we were gonna get things situated and fixed and we could put some great drivers together later.”
With Brees likely out for the foreseeable future, New Orleans fans should be happy to see Hill's ability to adjust and improve through early struggles. The uniquely talented quarterback could be slightly uncomfortable taking on a more traditional QB role, but even through just one game he's proved he can adapt.
After his solid performance today, Hill is expected to make the start again next Sunday in Denver.