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How Taysom Hill was utilized offensively by Saints in his return (plus Week 9 Utah ties roundup)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) warms up before the first half of an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) warms up before the first half of an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in New Orleans.
Derick Hingle, Associated Press

After missing the New Orleans Saints’ past two games with a concussion, Taysom Hill returned to action Sunday, albeit with a new quarterback he’s backing up.

Trevor Siemian took control of the Saints offense in a Week 9 matchup with Atlanta, one week after Jameis Winston tore his ACL and damaged his MCL. With Siemian starting, Hill, who at one point was competing with Winston for the starting QB position, returned to his usual utility position.

Siemian passed for 249 yards and two touchdowns — both in the fourth quarter — as New Orleans rallied late but gave up a last-second field goal in losing 27-25 to the Falcons.

Hill, meanwhile, was largely a nonfactor while playing 17 offensive snaps, or 22% of the Saints’ snaps. That’s significantly less offensive usage than earlier in the year, when Hill was in on closer to 50% of New Orleans’ offensive plays under Winston, according to NOLA.com’s Amie Just.

The former BYU star who was contending with Siemian last week to start played only five snaps at quarterback. Hill lined up at QB on a fourth-and-1 late in the third quarter but Atlanta was called for encroachment before the play, giving New Orleans a first down.

In the fourth quarter with New Orleans trailing 17-6, Hill was in at QB for three straight snaps. On the first two, he completed passes of 14 and 19 yards to get the Saints into Atlanta territory.

On the third snap, New Orleans was called for a false start, and on the next play, Siemian lost a fumble that the Falcons returned deep into Saints territory and quickly turned into a touchdown.

Hill later lined up at quarterback on a second-and-3 play at the Atlanta 6 and ran for 4 yards, helping set up a short touchdown run.

Outside of those five snaps, Hill played 12 snaps at receiver positions — three as a blocker and nine running a route. Besides one third down play and another on fourth, Hill primarily was used on first and second downs in situations where the Saints needed 10 or more yards for a first down.

“We had a package (for him). I thought he gave us some energy when he came in,” Saints coach Sean Payton said postgame of Hill’s limited contributions. “We had a run; we had a handful of plays. It was just kind of how the game went. Look, if you’re not converting third downs, then your number count is not going to be 70-something offensive plays or 80. You are going to have a shorter amount of plays. He is part of the plan.”


How Utah ties performed during Week 9

Several Utah ties made a significant impact during Week 9 of the NFL season. Here’s a look at how local ties performed:

Colts 45, Jets 30

Indianapolis

  • No locals on active roster.

New York

  • Javelin Guidry, CB, Utah: 1 solo tackle; 17 snaps (9 on defense, 8 on special teams).
  • Zach Wilson, QB, BYU and Corner Canyon High: Not active for game with knee injury.

Ravens 34, Vikings 31

Baltimore

  • Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah: Did not play.
  • Ty’Son Williams, RB, BYU: 18 snaps (all on offense).

Minnesota

  • Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State and Fremont High: Started at linebacker; 2 tackles; 83 snaps (57 on defense, 26 on special teams).

Patriots 24, Panthers 6

New England

  • Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: Started at linebacker; 2 solo tackles, 2 pass deflections, both on third downs; 41 snaps (all on defense).

Carolina

  • Brady Christensen, OT, BYU and Bountiful High: 2 snaps (all on special teams).

Browns 41, Bengals 16

Cleveland

  • Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU: Started at linebacker; 7 tackles (3 solo), 1 forced fumble on a punt return (Cincinnati recovered); 45 snaps (29 on defense, 16 on special teams).

Cincinnati

  • Jalen Davis, CB, Utah State: 3 snaps (all on special teams).

Broncos 30, Cowboys 16

Denver

  • Garett Bolles, OT, Utah, Snow College and Westlake High: Not active for game with ankle injury.
  • Tim Patrick, WR, Utah: Started at wide receiver; 4 receptions, 85 yards, caught a 44-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give the Broncos a 13-0 lead; 48 snaps (all on offense).

Dallas

  • Francis Bernard, LB, Utah, BYU and Herriman High: 17 snaps (all on special teams).
  • Simi Fehoko, WR, Brighton High: Not active for game.
  • Dalton Schultz, TE, Bingham High: Started at tight end; 4 receptions, 54 yards, 1 tackle; 59 snaps (all on offense).

Jaguars 9, Bills 6

Jacksonville

  • Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State: 3 tackles (2 solo); 29 snaps (19 on defense, 10 on special teams).

Buffalo

  • Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State: Started at cornerback; 2 solo tackles; 11 snaps (all on defense).
  • Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah, Snow College and Bingham High: Started at defensive tackle; 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 tackle for loss; 41 snaps (36 on defense, 5 on special teams).
  • Zack Moss, RB, Utah: 3 carries, 6 yards, 2 receptions, 18 yards; 19 snaps (all on offense).

Dolphins 17, Texans 9

Miami

  • Eric Rowe, S, Utah: 6 tackles (5 solo), 1 forced fumble that the Dolphins recovered in Houston territory; 28 snaps (all on defense).

Houston

  • No locals on roster.

Falcons 27, Saints 25

Atlanta

  • No locals on roster.

New Orleans

  • Kaden Elliss, LB, Judge Memorial High: 3 tackles; 34 snaps (11 on defense, 23 on special teams).
  • Taysom Hill, QB, BYU: 2 of 2 passing, 33 yards, 1 carry, 4 yards; 20 snaps (17 on offense, 3 on special teams).
  • Marcus Williams, FS, Utah: Started at safety; team-high 7 tackles (6 solo); 59 snaps (all on defense).

Giants 23, Raiders 16

New York

  • Devontae Booker, RB, Utah: Started at running back; 21 carries, team-high 99 yards, 3 receptions, 23 yards; that included a 16-yard carry on a third-and-1 play on the Giants’ first touchdown-scoring drive; 41 snaps (all on offense).

Las Vegas

  • Jackson Barton, OT, Utah and Brighton High: Not active for game.
  • Andre James, C, Herriman High: Started at center; 69 snaps (all on offense).
  • Dallin Leavitt, S, Utah State and BYU: 2 tackles (1 solo), 1 fumble recovery on a muffed punt by a Raiders teammate; 27 snaps (6 on defense, 21 on special teams).

Chargers 27, Eagles 24

Los Angeles

  • Michael Davis, CB, BYU: Not active for game with hamstring injury.
  • Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State: 31 snaps (26 on defense, 5 on special teams).
  • Alohi Gilman, S, Orem High: Not active for game with ankle injury.

Philadelphia

  • Sua Opeta, OG, Weber State and Stansbury High: Did not play.

Chiefs 13, Packers 7

Kansas City

  • Marcus Kemp, WR, Layton High: 22 snaps (3 on offense, 19 on special teams).
  • Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU: 1 solo tackle, 1 QB hurry that led to an incompletion on a fourth-down play; 28 snaps (22 on defense, 6 on special teams).

Green Bay

  • Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: Started at quarterback; completed 19 of 34 passes for 190 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 5 carries, 23 yards, 1 fumble, 1 fumble recovery; threw his first career touchdown on a 20-yard pass in the fourth quarter; sacked 1 time; 63 snaps (all on offense).

Cardinals 31, 49ers 17

Arizona

  • Leki Fotu, DT, Utah and Herriman High: 40 snaps (28 on defense, 12 on special teams).

San Francisco

  • Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Started at linebacker; team-high 14 tackles (6 solo); 70 snaps (all on defense).
  • Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah: 4 punts with 40.8-yard average; 2 inside 20; 1 tackle; 11 snaps (all on special teams).

Titans 28, Rams 16

Tennessee

  • No locals on roster.

Los Angeles

  • Terrell Burgess, S, Utah: 20 snaps (all on special teams).
  • Matt Gay, K, Utah and Orem High: Made field goals of 34, 22 and 54 yards, made 1 of 1 point-after attempt; 9 snaps (all on special teams).

Steelers 29, Bears 27

Pittsburgh

  • Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah: 23 snaps (all on special teams).

Chicago

  • Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: Started at cornerback; 5 tackles (4 solo); 72 snaps (all on defense).
  • Patrick Scales, LS, Utah State and Weber High: 11 snaps (all on special teams).
  • Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU and Granger High: 1 tackle; 21 snaps (15 on defense, 6 on special teams).