Taysom Hill got his first career start in the NFL on Sunday. While many questions surrounded head coach Sean Peyton’s decision to start Hill over Jamies Winston, Hill quickly silenced those questions, for now, at least.
Hill shows up vs. the Falcons
Granted this start came against the poor Atlanta Falcons defense, Hill was nevertheless impressive. You can only beat who you’re facing, and Hill did exactly that.
He completed 18-23 passes for 233 yards. Hill also added two touchdown rushes, both in the second half. The rushing touchdowns were part of his 51 yards rushing on the day.
The passing numbers might underwhelm in this one, but he simply did what he was asked to put the Saints in position to win. High completion percentage, limited turnovers (he lost one fumble), and keeping the chains moving.
Overall, it was a promising day for the versatile offensive weapon. He got stud wide receiver Michael Thomas going to the tune of nine receptions for 104 yards.
The Saints will face the Denver Broncos next week before a rematch with the Atlanta Falcons. That Falcons game in two weeks will be a great way for the team to measure how Hill is progressing as he gains more comfort under center.
New Orleans is in a heated race for first place in the NFC South, currently sitting at 8-2 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers right behind them at 7-4. Hill may have a short leash as the season progresses, mainly because the team can’t afford to lose too many games. Plus, they have one of the better backups in the league with Winston sitting behind Hill.
Is Hill the future?
While there remain unknowns about when starter Drew Brees can get back on the field, one thing is guaranteed. If he can return at any point, he will be back as the team’s starter. The future Hall of Famer has earned that much with the franchise, and there isn’t anything Hill or Winston can do to prevent Brees from taking the field if healthy.
After this season, though, it becomes a real possibility this is Hill’s job moving forward. If Brees calls it a career in the offseason, the franchise will have three options; move forward with Hill, sign Winston to a deal as the new starter, or draft a rookie and start him from day one.
Hill has an advantage over Winston because the team clearly preferred him over Winston this season. Further, the Saints won’t have a high draft selection to take an NFL ready QB, so Hill could see himself as the starter while a rookie is developed behind him.
As of now, the favorite as the QB of the future in New Orleans has to be Hill. If he keeps up his play, and the results are more wins, the Saints will feel great about building around him as their QB in the offseason.
Sean Peyton isn’t afraid to make bold decisions.