Did you some sympathy for Broncos coach Vic Fangio, Sean Payton?
Any sympathy, given that the guy was forced to foul, in an NFL game, without the services of an NFL quarterback?
“Yeah, look, I think it’s hard for all (teams),” replied the Saints coach. “Look, this is a challenging year. I felt bad for the cardboard fans. But it is what it is. ”
So in other words … No. Not much.
The Saints (9-2) made no apologies for dancing on the grave the Broncos dug for themselves. Or, if you like, the grave the NFL dug instead, as New Orleans’ 31-3 defeat at Empower Field went ahead as planned despite the home team not having healthy, active quarterbacks available.
Jeff Driskel tested positive for the coronavirus last Thursday, and the previous contact from starter Drew Lock and backups of Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles to Driskel earlier this week made them ineligible to play under the COVID-19 either. protocols of the NFL. The decision was made on Saturday afternoon.
“It was a bit weird,” Alvin Kamara said of the Saints of the condition of the Broncos. “It was a strange day, a strange atmosphere in the game. But a victory is a victory. ”
The closest thing to sympathy for the hosts came from the queue of Saints Latavius Murray, which strolled for 124 meters. After the game, Murray gave his cap to Broncos quarterback Kendall Hinton, a practice-squad receiver and a former college quarterback at Wake Forest.
“I’ve given them a lot of credit for even having the confidence to step on the field and do what (Hinton) did,” Murray said of the Broncos who made a pass in nine tries and were eliminated twice.
‘I know it was difficult for him. But I have a lot of respect for them. But it’s the kind of season it’s been. ”
The NFL’s decision not to delay the game didn’t just rub the Broncos’ believers the wrong way. A gift-wrapped win for the Saints solidified New Orleans’ grip on No. 1 in the NFC playoffs, a scenario that annoyed fans of the Packers, Seahawks and Rams, all vying for first place in New Orleans.
“Yeah, I don’t think ‘weird’ is the right word,” Payton said. “Look, everything about this season is unique. So we tune the things that we cannot control. ”
New Orleans quarterback Taysom Hill proved to be more empathetic, being himself a former college quarterback at BYU before snapping like a pro at traffic jam, wideout, tight end, and on special teams.
Hill, who only made his second NFL start behind center, said his Payton guideline “changed drastically” on Saturday when the Saints coaching staff discovered that the Broncos should perform a foul without a natural quarterback.
“I think there was so much uncertainty going into the game; (we) didn’t know how this would turn out, ”said Hill, who threw for 78 yards and ran for 44 with two touchdowns to the ground. “Offensively, I am not surprised that (the) match went like this.”
A stingy Saints defense that came fourth out of the NFL defenses in pocket percentage and ninth in opposing scoring would prove challenging whether or not Lock was in the fold. But it was clear from the start that New Orleans intended to crowd the box and challenge someone – anyone – from the Broncos to try to throw it.
I knew very well they couldn’t.
“It was a bit crazy,” said Saints linebacker Kwon Alexander, whose recovery from a clumsy exchange between wild quarterback Phillip Lindsay and center Lloyd Cushenberry broke a weird game wide open late in the second quarter. “(We) knew they couldn’t do too much, especially (with Hinton) as a quarterback for just one game.”