Taysom Hill unstoppable as Saints ground Seahawks

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

saints Seahawks
Taysom Hill accounted for four touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks. (Matthew Tate)

Taysom Hill scored four touchdowns for the New Orleans Saints as they defeated the Seattle Seahawks 39-32 in a thrilling matchup at the Caesar’s Superdome. In a game filled with explosive plays, the Saints were able to end their skid with an impressive victory.

“I’m pleased with the win, got a lot of things we’ve got to clean up, but happy to win … [Hill is a] good player. We try to put him in a position to do things that he does really well. Our guys went out and executed the plays. It was good to see,” head coach Dennis Allen said after the game.  

The Saints heavily relied on their run game with Alvin Kamara picking up 103 rushing yards and Hill gaining 112 and three touchdowns. Saints quarterback Andy Dalton did just enough, completing 16 of 24 passes for 187 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith was impressive, completing 16 of 25 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns.

New Orleans struck first in their opening drive when Wil Lutz connected on a 56-yard field goal attempt. Seattle quickly responded and scored the game’s first touchdown. After being flushed out of the pocket, Geno Smith threw on the run to find a wide open DK Metcalf who then rumbled into the endzone. 

Seattle tacked on a 56-yard field goal before the first quarter ended, but the Saints opened the second quarter with Hill’s first touchdown of the day. New Orlean’s utility player had a powerful eight-yard touchdown run where he broke multiple tackles en route to the endzone. 

Later in the second quarter, disaster struck for the visitors when Seahawks’ punter Michael Dickson inexplicably tried to run the ball instead of punt it away. Dickson was stripped of the ball, and Hill recovered. Two plays later, Hill ran in from nine yards out for his second touchdown of the day.

“He was trying to give us the ball. He did a phenomenal job in his assignment,” Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said jokingly about the fake punt. 

After Seattle added on a 31-yard field goal, the Saints looked to end the half with a long drive. However, a Kamara fumble gave the visitors the ball back with 20 seconds remaining in prime field position. Three plays later, Smith found Tyler Lockett in the endzone for a 35-yard strike. With the kicker missing the extra point, halftime saw the visiting team lead 19-17. 

In the first play after the break, Metcalf fumbles the ball after a catch, giving the hosts great field position. Six plays later, Dalton found Chris Olave in the endzone for a 16-yard touchdown. Originally, the play was ruled incomplete, however the call was overturned after the Saints challenged it. Unfortunately for the Saints, Olave’s head was slammed into the ground when he made the catch, ruling him out for the rest of the game.

At the end of the third quarter, Kamara took a screen pass 54 yards which would set up Hill’s third touchdown of the game. Hill, surprising the defense, threw the ball 22 yards to a wide open Adam Trautman for a touchdown.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Smith responded with another deep touchdown pass to Lockett, this time being 40 yards. However, Seattle’s two-point conversion attempt was no good. 

The visitors’ comeback bid continued on their next drive, when Kenneth Walker III broke free and scored a 69-yard touchdown run. This gave the Seahawks a lead, but it would not last long.

Hill got his fourth touchdown of the day when he was able to break free on an inside run and scampered 60 yards for a touchdown. Mark Ingram II was able to convert the two-point conversion to put New Orleans up by seven.

Seattle got the ball back but immediately went three-and-out. The Saints run game would not let the visitors get the ball back as they were able to run out the remainder of the clock. 

Both teams learned a lot from this game. Seattle has a good team, but they lack discipline, as shown by the 12 penalties called against them. For the Saints, Allen and Jordan harped on the importance of preventing the big plays that Seattle had found success with. 

The loss of Olave is a big one for New Orleans as he was having a good season so far. They will need to hope that receiver Michael Thomas and quarterback Jameis Winston can return to full health soon.

New Orleans will play next Sunday at the Superdome, when they host the Cincinnati Bengals. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow played his college football at LSU and won the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship game in the Superdome.

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