Analyzing Hill’s Performance
Considering he was going up against Matt Ryan, you certainly would not have expected Hill to be the better quarterback, yet he clearly was.
On 23 attempts, Hill completed 18 passes for 233 yards and accumulated a passer rating of 108.9. Meanwhile, Ryan’s passer rating sat at 48.5, and he threw for fewer yards despite throwing the ball 14 more times.
That isn’t all; Hill was also the Saints’ leading rusher and also had two rushing touchdowns. His power rushing ability was on clear display on a critical fourth-down touchdown conversion:
Now, Hill’s overall statistics may be misleading. There were multiple times where he clearly was bailed out. For example, he threw a ball right to linebacker Deion Jones in the red zone that was dropped.
Additionally, a 10-yard under throw to Emmanuel Sanders resulted in a 44-yard completion. Meanwhile, he also took three costly sacks, one of which cost the team a chance at a field goal.
Altogether, however, this was a far better performance than anyone could have expected. Compared to some of the other backup quarterbacks in the NFL, Hill was significantly more competent, especially when it came to producing big plays.
He was a major disaster potential possible when Payton slotted him in as the quarterback, but there was always a chance that the “unknown” with Hill translated into a positive. It is safe to say the right tail of outcomes occurred on Sunday.