The Saints’ decision to turn to Taysom Hill at quarterback brought some explosiveness to the offense, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to keep them from their first five-game losing streak under head coach Sean Payton.
They had seven plays that went for at least 23 plays, which is only one less than they had in their last three games, and they put up the most yards they’ve gained since Jameis Winston was still their quarterback in Week Four. Those positives are a footnote to the game, however, and the downside of Hill’s performance is why that’s the case.
Hill threw four interceptions, including one that defensive tackle Carlos Watkins returned for a touchdown that put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. It was part of a run of three interceptions in the final 15 minutes and too much for the Saints to overcome.
“You know, I’m not going to rush to any conclusions having not seen the tape or anything, but I feel like we did some things really well tonight, and then we did some things really poorly,” Hill said in his postgame press conference. “Obviously, it’s tough to win a game when you turn the ball over four times, and as soon as you look at the stats and you look at what we did, that’s obviously the thing that jumps out to you that’s disappointing. The drive at the end of the first half was disappointing, having the turnover there and not getting any points out of that drive. Then later taking a sack and not getting any points on that drive. You know, they’re just kind of freak things but that’s really what jumps out.”
Hill called the losing streak “unfamiliar territory” and more may be ahead for the quarterback. The Saints have made the playoffs in all of his four NFL seasons, but it’s looking like a major turnaround will be needed for the Saints to keep that four-year postseason streak alive.