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TNF Week 13: It’s all about the ground game

The Saints will have Taysom Hill under center against Dallas

At first glance, the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints find themselves in similar situations heading into Week 13. The Cowboys have lost three of their last four and sit just two games up on the Washington Football Team for first-place in the NFC East. Meanwhile, the Saints have dropped their last four contests, moving them out of the current NFC playoff picture with a record of 5-6. Both teams are looking to break out of slumps.

For the Cowboys, their slump has consisted of several tough breaks against solid teams whereas the Saints’ slump has been more a story of teams figuring out how to stop Trevor Siemian. It shouldn’t have taken as long as it did, but now that Siemian is out, the Cowboys will have to figure out how to stop Taysom Hill. As easy as that might sound, we need to keep in mind that the Saints went 3-1 with Hill as their starting quarterback last season. While those games definitely weren’t against the best teams in the world (Broncos, Eagles, and the Falcons twice), Hill proved that he was capable of leading an offense in the short term. In 2020, Hill had a passer rating of almost 100 (98.8) while completing 72.7 percent of his passes with an air yards per attempt of 7.6, that’s the same average depth of target as 2020 Tom Brady and is actually greater than the numbers Matt Ryan put up in that category last season. The Saints were not forcing Hill to throw safe checkdowns all the time. They were letting Hill be a dual-threat passer and it worked. He had multiple touchdowns in every game he started.

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