The Saints lost their starting quarterback. They’ve played the last few games without Alvin Kamara. Their top two receivers have caught 54 passes between them. And what wheels there were under Trevor Siemian completely fell off against the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving in a 31-6 loss — their fourth in a row — that dropped the Saints to 5-6.
And yet, by either a miracle or a cruel twist of fate, the Saints are somehow still in the NFC playoff race. They hold the same record as the Washington Football Team, the NFC’s current No. 7 seed, and Taysom Hill will be starting on Thursday against a shorthanded Dallas Cowboys team.
If the Saints are to make some kind of bizarre playoff run, it has to start on Thursday. Every game from here on out is must win, but the offense hasn’t proven that it has any kind of run in the it to this point. The onus is on Hill to prove that notion wrong, as the Saints continue to free fall in league power rankings.
ESPN - #20 (From #18)
Silly me, I thought the Saints had survived the toughest stretch of their season at this point. And they did climb to 5-2 with a win over the Buccaneers. But then New Orleans lost Jameis Winston to a season-ending ACL tear, found out Michael Thomas wouldn’t be coming back all year from an ankle injury, lost Alvin Kamara for three games and suffered several other key injuries that led to their current four-game losing streak. The one constant all season has been a lackluster passing attack (27th in the NFL). However, the roster is getting healthier, and the schedule isn’t too daunting down the stretch — so there is still a glimmer of hope. — Mike Triplett
USA Today - #23 (From #20)
Winless in QB Trevor Siemian’s four starts and now outside the playoff field, time to see if Taysom Hill can ride to the rescue against depleted Dallas.
CBS - #22 (From #19)
Their season has gone bad in a big way. They just can’t do enough on offense to compete. It looks like it could be Taysom Hill at quarterback this week.
NFL - #25 (From #18)
The bottom has fallen out for the Saints. Playing without Alvin Kamara for a third consecutive week, New Orleans managed just 44 rushing yards (1.8 yards per carry) and 190 total yards in a ghastly 31-6 setback to the Bills at the Superdome. That’s four straight losses for the Saints, who have simply sustained too many personnel losses to operate as an efficient offense. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Sean Payton appears ready to change quarterbacks, and it makes sense: Trevor Siemian is a born journeyman, and logic dictates the team take an extended look at Taysom Hill before making some very important decisions in the offseason. At the very least, Hill provides some juice to an attack that could use it.
Bleacher Report - #23 (From #19)
The New Orleans Saints are toast.
On some level, maybe they always were. Even during their 5-2 start, when most of the players were healthy, it was clear that the Saints had significant limitations offensively.
However, Jameis Winston’s season-ending knee injury has forced first Trevor Siemian and now Taysom Hill into the starting role at quarterback. With Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II both out in Week 12, the Saints were forced to turn to Tony Jones Jr. and Ty Montgomery at running back. The wide receiver corps has been without Michael Thomas for the entire season. And after mustering a measly 190 yards of offense against the Bills, the Saints have dropped four in a row to fall below .500 for the first time this season.
Head coach Sean Payton told reporters after the game that he isn’t exactly sure how to stop the skid.
“We’ll look at everything right now. Obviously, we have to,” Payton said. “We’ve got to look closely at everything we’re doing and who we’re doing it with.”
Given all of the injuries and the drop in performance that have come as a result, it may not matter what Payton does.
Yahoo - #21 (From #19)
It seems the Saints are finally turning to Taysom Hill as their starting quarterback. It’s a long time coming, but there were apparently some health concerns with Hill. Maybe Hill can’t save the Saints’ season but they need to try.
Sports Illustrated - #19 (From #15)
A quarterback change could be coming. The team’s lost four straight. Thursday night’s an awfully big spot for Sean Payton’s crew
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