How Can They Fix This Problem?
The best way for the Saints to solve their offensive woes would be to insert Winston into the lineup. However, that doesn’t appear to be on the table, meaning they’ll have to make do with Hill until Brees returns.
An offense crafted around early-down play-action passes and quick/easy first reads is the only way for the Saints to mask Hill’s deficiencies when it comes to accuracy and holding onto the ball too long.
It worked against Atlanta, and although the performance under pressure won’t remain intact, there isn’t any reason why they can’t produce on early downs.
If they want to be explosive on the ground, more designed runs should also be in store for Hill. This is explained perfectly below by Kevin Cole, who also provided data on Hill’s splits in various situations.
The threat of Hill as a rusher not only opens up opportunities in the running games, but it should also lead to more easy passing windows.
Hopefully, with Payton calling the shots, the Saints can still be a productive enough offense to not place a substantial amount of pressure on their defense. If they can get out to early leads, their pass rush can feast on opposing quarterbacks.
With said pass rush as well as Hill’s inability to convert on obvious passing downs, this is a team that needs to get ahead early, rather than playing behind. For that reason, they must focus on ambushing opposing teams; on the first few drives, Payton should unload every trick he has in the bag.
The failure to do so could be the difference between winning and losing. Honestly, with Brees’ inability to push the ball down the field, this would generally be true with him as well.