Breaking News
More () »

Forecast: Taysom saves the season - For now at least

Sunday, the 2022 Saints season finally had 60 minutes of fun, at least whenever Taysom had the ball.

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints didn't deliver good football during their 39-32 win over the Seattle Seahawks; they delivered something more cherished, the Saints delivered hope.

Are the 2022 Saints a good football team? We have five weeks of evidence they can't stop stumbling, fumbling, and checking off every item on the "how to lose a football game" list. So they probably aren't, but that wasn't important Sunday. What mattered Sunday was they found some kind of way to win and be mediocre and alive at 2-3 instead of as dead as Elvis at 1-4.

At 2-3, we can talk ourselves into believing maybe the weekly fumbles and generally awful special teams play will stop. Maybe they'll stop losing multiple star players to injury every week? Maybe the defense will start to look like we dreamed it could when Tyrann Mathieu signed in the spring.

Is that delusional? Maybe. We've waited all year for Saints football, and we can be happy today. 

All our hopes and dreams of Saints being relevant after Halloween aren't dead yet.

We can be indebted to Taysom Hill mostly. Hill had one of the craziest fun games in Saints history with 112 yards rushing, 3 rushing touchdowns, a touchdown, a fumble recovery on a punt, and the key block on the Alvin Kamara run that iced the win.

It was the Taysom show and his 60-yard game-winning touchdown run was more incredible because the entire world knew the Saints were going to run Taysom on a critical 3rd and 1 in the 4th quarter. No matter. Pete Carmichael Jr. dialed up "Taysom Power" and suddenly the Saints had what felt like a season-saving bolt of lightning.

Sunday the 2022 Saints season finally had 60 minutes of fun... at least whenever Taysom had the ball. He knew what was up.

"It's so much fun when you get opportunities with your teammates. Football's a lot more fun when you are making plays and you are winning football games. That was that," Hill said.

Dang, right it was. Can we just take a moment to revel in how marvelous and unique Taysom Hill is and how much fun and unique it is to be able to root for a guy like him? The arguing over whether he is or isn't a quarterback distracts us from the fact he is probably the best pure athlete on the field filled with the best athletes on earth. He was so good yesterday I almost wished that the 4-year 140 million-dollar contract he signed in 2021 was real. That 4th quarter touchdown FELT like it was worth 140 million bucks.

The Saints offense looked exactly like you'd hope it would against the NFL's 31st-ranked defense. The Saints had 438 yards of offense, including 235 yards rushing.

Andy Dalton had the most Andy Dalton game imaginable, going 16 of 24 for 187 yards and 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. He mostly kept the Saints out of bad situations and did a nice job of managing the Seattle blitz.

Alvin Kamara had 29 touches for 194 total yards, and except for another fumble, looked exactly like the guy the Saints offense needs him to be.

The Saints defense was terrible but at least it was unique in its awfulness. Not every day you see a defense hold an offense to 1 of 9 on third downs, sack a quarterback 3 times, and still give up 396 yards. The Saints managed it by giving up 8 plays of at least 15 yards. Seattle hit big plays seemingly the entire second half. I was told Russell Wilson was gone but Geno Smith was connecting on so many bombs at some points Sunday I wasn't sure.

The Saints safeties suddenly look slow and struggle to tackle. The Saints foundational pillar on defense is they crush the opponent's running attack and make them 1-dimensional. The Seahawks ran for 151 yards on 21 carries. It's the second time in 5 weeks the Saints have been smashed to bits on the ground.

If the defense is just going to be ordinary, 2022 is going to be a VERY long season.

The 2022 Saints aren't the Super Bowl contender we hoped for, they aren't even a likely serious playoff contender. What they can be is a team that entertains us every Sunday. For the first time all season, the Saints at least delivered fireworks from start to finish. The 17 points they had at halftime felt LUXURIOUS. There will be plenty of times later on when we can be mad about what the Saints aren't, but today let's just be happy Taysom Hill put on a show and kept hope alive in 2022.

Ralph Malbrough is a contributing writer and Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at saintshappyhour@gmail.com, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter at @SaintsForecast or download the Saints Happy Hour Podcast.  

Before You Leave, Check This Out