Payton on plan vs. Broncos: 'It doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing to be effective'


The New Orleans Saints picked up a 31-3 win against the Denver Broncos Sunday.

Saints quarterback Taysom Hill made his second start and finished 9-of-16 for 78 yards with an interception. Hill also ran for 44 yards and two touchdowns.

Those numbers weren’t as impressive as what he posted last week against the Atlanta Falcons where he completed 18 of his 23 passes for 233 yards.

But Saints coach Sean Payton said Hill played the game exactly the way he was supposed to.

“I think there's going to be this —Taysom played this thing just how I wanted him to play it,” Payton said. “It doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing to be effective. The job is to win, and he did a good job of that.”

Payton said New Orleans’ game plan changed following the news that the Broncos would be without any of their quarterbacks due to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. When the plan changed, so did Hill’s role.

He said he became  more of a game manager at that point.

“It drastically changed,” Payton said. “As far as evaluating my performance, it’s a difficult thing to look at as a competitor and feel really gratified about. At the end of the day, through my conversations with Coach, I felt like my responsibility was to get us in and out of the huddle, make sure we are lined up properly, make sure we are targeting everything directly.

“Overall, I was happy with the way I was able to manage the game plan. At the end of the day, it’s hard to win in this league, it’s hard to win nine games this early. Overall, a win’s a win and we’ll take it any way we can get it.”

The Saints rushed for 229 yards and held the time of possession advantage Sunday. Saints running back Latavius Murray was key to both of those advantages as he rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns,

“Latavius was great,” Hill said. “It was one of those things where you try to manage the ball, make sure we aren’t doing anything to hurt ourselves as a team offensively. But then to take time off the clock and have the ability to hand the ball off to Latavius.

“You see so many great moments, with [RB] Alvin [Kamara] too. Those guys never go down on the first contact. They are making guys miss and making cuts in the hole and getting yards after contact is huge. That was the game plan for the day.”