NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees may have been the hottest quarterback in the NFL heading into the playoffs, but third-string QB Taysom Hill has been the New Orleans Saints' go-to guy in Sunday's wild-card game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Hill caught a 20-yard TD pass from Brees to bring New Orleans to within 20-17 with 10:31 remaining in the fourth quarter on Sunday -- his seventh TD catch of the season.
Hill also set up the Saints' first TD of the game early in the second quarter when he completed a 50-yard pass to undrafted rookie receiver/kick returner Deonte Harris at the Vikings' 4-yard line. New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara followed up with a 4-yard touchdown run on the next play -- and sure enough, Hill was his lead blocker.
Hill -- whom the Saints use often as a change-of-pace weapon as a read-option quarterback/running back/receiver/tight end -- was actually on the field for three straight plays. He gained 11 yards on a read-option keeper before his TD throw.
The 50-yard pass was the longest of Hill's career. It was also the longest catch for Harris, who has been sneaking into the offense more recently after his breakout season as a return specialist. The 5-foot-6, 170-pounder from Division II Assumption was named first-team All-Pro as a return man this week. Harris had to wait for a moment on Hill's throw, which was slightly underthrown -- and he actually turned and caught it like a punt.
That's our [BACKUP] quarterback 😱— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 5, 2020
...and UNDRAFTED ALL-PRO Punt Returner ‼️ pic.twitter.com/SQ74F0IgWp
Hill, who also serves as a special-teams coverage specialist, nearly blocked a punt earlier in the game as well.
The Saints' offense needed a boost Sunday. They had gained a total of just 43 yards on 14 plays during their first three drives while struggling to keep Minnesota's defensive front at bay.