There was some attempt by the local media and team to generate some hype for Kendall Hinton coming in at the last minute to start for the Denver Broncos, but it was a tall order for a former college quarterback turned wide receiver. He played well considering he had no practice and no time before the game started on Sunday.
The New Orleans Saints have quarterback issues of their own, but their entire offense has been geared towards running the football behind Taysom Hill and it showed. They built up an insurmountable lead early on their way to a blowout 31-3 victory.
One could even say that the NFL got the forfeit it apparently wanted from the Broncos without actually forcing them to do it. We got perhaps the worst football game anyone under the age of 60 has seen.
This game is how the @NFL can force a team to forfeit a game without actually calling it forfeiting a game.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 29, 2020
With all of the pre-game hype about Kendall Hinton being the quarterback for the Broncos in this game, the team elected to come out with Phillip Lindsay running the wild cat with Melvin Gordon. Lindsay would gain 1, 14, and 3 yards on the Broncos first three offensive plays.
Phillip Lindsay is QB1 pic.twitter.com/6IogzkSxPg— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 29, 2020
Royce Freeman then came for a wild cat carry for four yards before Hinton finally came out on the field for a third down and three. He would roll out and be pressured to throw it away to bring out the punt unit.
That series would seem to suggest the game plan that Head Coach Vic Fangio and his staff could put together in less than 24 hours.
Outside of that first down by Lindsay on the game’s second play, the teams traded three and outs the rest of the way in the first quarter until late when Dre’Mont Jones jumped offsides on a fourth down to extend the Saints drive that ended with them driving into Broncos territory to end the first quarter.
#NOvsDEN first-quarter stats. Scintillating. pic.twitter.com/mdaZH87MYf— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 29, 2020
The Saints stuck to the ground to open up the second quarter with Alvin Kamara leading the team into the red zone. They would stick the ground all throughout as Taysom Hill would have -8 net passing yards when Hill himself would punch it into the end zone from a yard out to put the Saints up 7-0 over the Broncos with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Neither team was throwing the ball much, though.
Through four drives, net passing yards:— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) November 29, 2020
A fumbled snap between Lloyd Cushenberry and Lindsay set the Saints up with a second scoring opportunity late in the first half, which predictably led to more points for New Orleans. They had a first and goal from the two that led to Taysom Hill’s second touchdown run of the game.
They got that 14-0 lead with just one net passing yard through the first two quarters of play. The Broncos did get the ball with about a minute to go in the half, and looked poised to run the clock out instead. However, on second down Hinton made his first completion of the game - but to Janoris Jenkins who was able to return it to the fringe of field goal range.
Hill extended his passing yards from 1 to 25 with just seconds remaining to give the Saints a field goal try to take a 17-0 halftime lead into the locker room.
#Broncos at 37 yards offense.— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) November 29, 2020
Franchise low for single-game ...
Both offenses continued to struggle in the passing game with interceptions by both Hinton and Hill. Essang Bassey got his first career interception on a deflection that he returned all the way inside the Saints 40 yard line to get Denver close to field goal range with nine minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Denver offense would go no where, but Brandon McManus nailed a career long 58-yard field goal anyway to make it a 17-3 game.
The Broncos defense, which had held up strong for most of the game up until that point, had finally been on the field too long and the Saints run game took over. Latavius Murray capped off the Saints next drive with a 36-yard touchdown run to put the Saints up 24-3.
If they had just worn their masks... 24-3. pic.twitter.com/9KnJx9ZGxb— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 29, 2020
The fourth quarter was played, but was anyone watching? I was, but mostly just watching the clock hoping for this game to quickly come to a conclusion.
With a Broncos defense having been on the field for almost the entire game it seems, the Saints rushing attack really found success during the second half. They would add another score late to extend the Saints lead to 31-3.
The Saints would run the clock out from there.
Gotta give a mile high salute to @Kendall_Hinton2 despite the tough game. He was given an impossible task and never quit. Glad you are a Bronco!— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 29, 2020
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