Wed, 20 Jan 2021

Saints look for eighth straight win with visit to Denver

Field Level Media
26 Nov 2020, 11:40 GMT+10

Taysom Hill showed in his first NFL start at quarterback that he could pass well enough for the New Orleans Saints to continue winning.

At the same time, the Denver Broncos learned they could win while being less dependent on Drew Lock's arm.

The Saints (8-2) will seek their eighth consecutivevictory when they visit the Broncos (4-6) on Sunday.

Hill passed for 233 yards and ran for two touchdowns in a home victory against Atlanta last week. Hill is expected to make his second consecutive start Sunday in place of injured Drew Brees, who will miss at least two more games while on injured reserve because of rib and lung injuries.

"There's a lot of pressure when you all of a sudden become that starter," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "So I was happy he played well and we played a good complementary game. There were a lot of things we did well in that game defensively. We ran the ball well, especially in the second half."

Hill had both of his scoring runs in the second half to accompany one by Alvin Kamara in the first half.

"This team is resilient," Kamara said. "This game does not stop for one player. It is nothing personal. It's the nature of the game."

New Orleans' defense sacked Matt Ryan eight times last week and has seven interceptions in the last three games.

"When you get one turnover, they come in bundles," defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson said. "It took us a while to get going. You see it coming together in the past couple weeks and it is going well for us right now."

Lock had thrown at least 40 passes in each of his previous four games, but threw just 30 times with 18 completions for 270 yards against the Dolphins. That's because Denver had its most rushing yards this season (189 on 33 carries).

"The (main) thing we did as a team was we ran the ball better," said head coach Vic Fangio, a one-time Saints assistant. "We played good defense for the most part, and to me, those are a young quarterback's two best friends, and he had them. The more we can do that as a team, the more he'll be able to develop in a more logical progression."

Lock threw an interception on Denver's first possession and it wasn't until his seventh attempt that he connected with a teammate.

"I'd like to see him get off to a better start than we've been getting off to, particularly as it relates to the passing game over the last few weeks," Fangio said. "Those are some points of emphasis I think we need to focus on this week.

"We showed some versatility in the offense -- both in the number of guys that caught some balls and carried it. It's a direct result of being able to run the ball better. Any time you can run it a little bit better, it opens up things for a lot of guys. We had more balance and more successful balance. It's easy to have balance, but can you be successful with it?"

The Broncos, like the Saints against the Falcons, had a team-wide defensive effort against the Dolphins. They had six sacks and forced five three-and-outs.

--Field Level Media

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