Saints cruise past QB-less Broncos, 31-3
Taysom Hill and Latavius Murray ran for two touchdowns each and visiting New Orleans took advantage of the absence of all Denver quarterbacks in a 31-3 victory Sunday.
Hill won his second straight start in the absence of injured Drew Brees as the NFC-leading Saints improved to 9-2 with their eighth consecutive victory.
The Broncos (4-7) played without all four quarterbacks on their roster because starter Drew Lock, backup Brett Rypien and practice squad player Blake Bortles were designated as close-contact risks after third-string quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
Practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton, who played quarterback as a freshman at Wake Forest, was expected to start, but running back Phillip Lindsay took the first three snaps in the shotgun formation and ran the ball, gaining a first down with a 14-yard run on the second play.
Lindsay left the game for good in the third quarter because of a knee injury.
Running back Royce Freeman took one shotgun snap before Hinton stepped in for the first passing play and threw the ball away under pressure.
Hinton, who completed 1 of 9 for 13 yards, got his first completion on his eighth attempt, which went to Noah Fant for a 13-yard gain on the Broncos’ first possession of the third quarter. His next pass was intercepted by C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
Essang Bassey got the ball right back by intercepting Hill, leading to Brandon McManus’ career-long 58-yard field goal that trimmed New Orleans’ lead to 17-3.
Murray ran 36 and eight yards for his touchdowns.
Hill’s one-yard touchdown run broke a scoreless tie early in the first quarter.
A bad snap to Lindsay in the shotgun created a Broncos fumble that set up Hill’s two-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 lead.
Janoris Jenkins intercepted Hinton and Wil Lutz’s 40-yard field goal as time expired gave the Saints a 17-0 halftime lead.
Denver had no completions among its seven first-half pass attempts and its 37 total yards were the fewest for any NFL team in a first half this season.
–Field Level Media