Five numbers that will make you doomy and gloomy, with a hint of sunshine on the horizon after the Saints’ 40-29 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.
14 - Run Taysom, Run.
On Sunday in Philadelphia, Saints’ starting quarterback Trevor Siemian ran into the end zone in the fourth quarter for a rushing touchdown. The score was Siemian’s second rushing touchdown in his entire six-year career (2015-2021). On the other hand, in a career two-year shorter (2017-2021), Taysom Hill has scored 14 rushing touchdowns to date. What does that have to do with anything you say? Well, allow me to expand: On Sunday, the Saints saw the impact of a running quarterback when they faced Jalen Hurts of the Eagles, who while passing for just 147 yards, rushed 18 times for 69 yards and had three rushing touchdowns in a 40-29 blowout victory against New Orleans. Hurts made the usually stout Saints’ run defense look like mere mortals, lost between focusing on either Hurts or on the actual running backs the Eagles lined up in various run-pass-option plays. This is a dimension that Hill would bring to the Saints’ offense that Siemian simply cannot. New Orleans has lost its last three games in a row, all of them started by Trevor Siemian, who has led a lethargic offense, one that seemingly only wakes up once down by two scores or more in the fourth quarter, when the other team is playing prevent-defense to bleed the clock. It is high time for the Saints to try something else at the quarterback position, and that move, I believe, should be to start Taysom Hill as soon as the Thanksgiving home-game against the Buffalo Bills.
71.1 - Great Number, Albeit in a Small Sample Size.
Taysom Hill has attempted 142 passes in his NFL “quarterback” career and completed 101 of them. That amounts to a 71.1% completion rate. Although this is undoubtedly a small sample size, it still shows that Hill has been a more accurate passer than not, contrary to the accepted narrative. By comparison, Trevor Siemian has attempted 985 passes in his NFL career as a quarterback, completing 580, a 58.9% completion rate. With Siemian having thrown nearly seven times more passes than Hill, his sample size provides a much more accurate representation of his skills as a passer in the NFL, which is a borderline 60% completion rate quarterback, without the legit threat of the run since he is mostly a statuesque, pocket quarterback. Additionally, both Hill and Siemian have the same career interception rate (0.03%), the number of interceptions thrown by passing attempt. This is another statistic that in my humble opinion, favors making the switch from Siemian to Hill at starting quarterback for the Saints.
3-1 - Better Than 0-3.
Well, let’s compare small sample sizes: As the Saints’ starting quarterback, Taysom Hill is 3-1, a record he compiled last season while filling in for an injured Drew Brees. In those four games, Hill had the following quarterback ratings: 108.9 (win vs. Falcons), 43.2 (win at Broncos), 107 (win at Falcons), and 102 (loss at Eagles). That is a 90.3 QB rating average, with the outlier being the 43.2 rating in Hill’s second-ever start as a quarterback in the NFL against a very good Broncos’ defense. Hill combined for 8 touchdowns and two interceptions in those four games. Comparatively, Siemian averaged a 91.2 QB rating over three games as the Saints’ starting quarterback, and interestingly also combined for 8 touchdowns and two interceptions. The main statistical difference between the two players is, once again, the ability for Hill to threaten defenses in the running game. This versatility allowed Hill to bail the Saints out of some tough third-down plays, leading the team to a 3-1 record in four games as a starter, while Siemian, albeit with some extenuating circumstances in the last game (the absence of Alvin Kamara due to injuries and a depleted offensive line), could not lead to Saints to a single victory in three games as a starter.
22.5 - Millions, That Is.
In case you haven’t heard, the Saints just signed Taysom Hill to a 4-year deal that guarantees him 22.5 million dollars. While the signing was another clever way for New Orleans to play around with the salary cap and find ways to free money, New Orleans added an incentive to the deal that would give Hill a lot more money up to 95 million dollars if he became the team’s starting quarterback. With such an investment, I believe it would behoove the Saints to find out sooner rather than later whether Hill would be worthy of such confidence, or whether to seriously make plans to try and lure the likes of Russell Wilson or (gasp!) Aaron Rodgers this offseason. The “Taysomania” time is now, Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton. Let’s Geaux!
2015 - Back to the Past?
When the Saints face the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving night in the Caesars Superdome, they will be trying to avoid their first four-game losing streak since the 2015 season. On December 6, 2015, New Orleans lost 48-38 to the Carolina Panthers in the Superdome. New Orleans was in the infamous “7-9 years” of 2014-2016, when the defense routinely made any quarterback look like prime Tom Brady. This year however, the Saints’ defense is a much better unit, while the offense meanders in the cellar of the NFL rankings. One would almost think that the Saints’ offense needs like a jolt at quarterback or something. I will now see myself out, as the crowd chants: Tay-Som! Tay-Som! Tay-Som!
Who should be the Saints’ starting quarterback the rest of this season?
Trevor Siemian! Keep Taysom in his joker role.
Taysom Hill. It’s time for a change.
The starter is always the Big Mac, the backup is the Double Bacon Cheeseburger.
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