New Orleans’ Swiss Army knife was as sharp as ever on Thursday night.
In 35 total snaps, his most since Week 2, Hill blocked a first-quarter punt, “caught” a touchdown “pass” on the ensuing possession and added a rushing score in the second quarter. It was a first half for the ages for the third-year multi-purpose weapon, one Hill knew was coming and one he won’t soon forget.
“It was one of those weeks I was really excited about,” Hill said after the game. “I think when you have guys like Mike Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, the list goes on, it kind of creates opportunities for little old me because there’s so much attention that’s put on those guys. Coach (Sean Payton) is one of the best at being creative and putting guys in position to be successful. I got lucky because I was the guy tonight.”
Hill’s two-touchdown performance was the first of his short career, and his two scores were his first trips to the end zone since Week 8. The latter touchdown on which Kamara flexed out of the backfield and Hill sped 30 yards through the teeth of the Falcons‘ front for six was another first.
“That was the first time we ran that,” Hill said, adding the call was added to the playbook for Thursday’s game.
Hill became just the second QB since 1950 with a rushing TD and a receiving TD in the same game — Jim McMahon pulled it off for the Bears in Week 10, 1983. But the secret weapon wishes he had one more score to add to the stat sheet.
“We were trying to get a touchdown throw in there too,” Hill joked. “It wasn’t aligned.”
Hill attempted just one pass. It fell incomplete. Maybe next time.
After playing the role of Teddy Bridgewater‘s backup while Drew Brees was on the mend from thumb surgery, Hill is back to where he belongs on the Saints‘ roster, a gadget guy with X-factor capabilities, waiting his turn to turn the game on its head.
“I’m happy that Drew’s back for multiple reasons,” Hill said. “I love playing with him. He’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around.
“But it also creates more opportunities for me.”