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Statistics prove the high value of Taysom Hill in the Saints’ run game

Hill’s performance against Seattle reminds the league of his talent.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Taysom Hill is one of the most unique athletes in the history of the NFL.

His skill set, however, is not something that many coaches have ever had the opportunity to call plays for. There’s no doubt that Dennis Allen, Pete Carmichael, and sometimes even Sean Payton have had some issues finding the best way to use the Swiss Army Knife.

His performance on Sunday was nothing short of phenomenal. But, given Seattle’s struggling defense and the “single game outlier” argument, some might not believe that giving Hill five or more carries leads to better outcomes.

The overall statistics show otherwise.

Let’s look at the statistics ranging from this Sunday back to the beginning of the 2020 season. Hill has played in 32 games. In those 32 games, Hill has recorded more than five carries in only 13 of them.

The New Orleans Saints are 11-2 in those games - an 85% win percentage.

That’s a very significant statistic, given that the Saints’ win percentage since 2020 is 61%.

In those 13 games, Hill rushed for 740 yards and 6.1 yards per carry. He recorded 13 rushing touchdowns in those games.

So why would Pete Carmichael not use Hill more in the run game? There are probably plenty of reasons that only people inside the team would know, but predictability definitely has to be a big factor.

His passing ability has been inconsistent and, quite frankly, unreliable. Teams understand that if Hill is in at quarterback on a 3rd and 4, he’s probably not going to throw the ball. However, his touchdown pass to Trautman this weekend proves that he’s not incapable of passing when Carmichael needs to surprise the defense.

Somehow, the Seattle Seahawks were unable to stop the QB Draw with Hill, even though it was called over and over again on Sunday. It would be nice if this play worked against every team, but the Saints might not be so lucky against daunting run defenses like San Francisco or Tampa Bay this season.

In other words, Carmichael will have to find more creative ways to use Hill this season. Taysom has proved that he can be used in a multitude of run designs, from straight dives to outside tosses to everything in between. Perhaps experimenting with RPO’s could be huge to keeping defenses on their toes when Hill lines up in the shotgun.

In short, Taysom Hill deserves to play a critical role in the Saints’ run game. His performances against Atlanta and Seattle show that he’s not just a Sean Payton-exclusive experiment. He can change the game with his legs, and the stats show that the Saints win more when he’s used more.

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