Saints QB Trevor Siemian Will Start Sunday and It’s Absolutely the Right Move
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has reportedly made his decision on who will start at quarterback Sunday.
Trevor Siemian will make his first start for New Orleans, and first NFL start since 2019.
It's the only correct move given the current circumstances.
As I wrote about earlier this week when ranking the potential options the Saints have at quarterback following Jameis Winston's season-ending injury, the fact that Siemian is the best option is a reminder that the Saints don't have any great ones.
Make no mistake, the loss of Winston will have a negative impact on the offense.
Having said that, Sean Payton has coached the Saints to a 13-3 record since 2019 in games without former quarterback Drew Brees.
Payton, a former NFL backup quarterback, has shown an ability to devise strong game plans based off the strengths and weaknesses of who will start under center.
Under center is a place where quarterback Taysom Hill hasn't played his best football. His best plays as a quarterback, or more notably his utility role, comes out of the shotgun due in large part to his running ability.
New Orleans is now built to lean on a run game and setup play-action with a quarterback under center (as opposed to the shotgun), though Siemian showed last week he will let it fly out of the gun.
Payton did not dramatically alter the passing game when Siemian checked in for the injured Winston.
With Hill recently coming back from concussion protocol, and Siemian showing an undeniable poise in last Sunday's win against Tampa Bay, the decision of who to start this week against the 3-4 Falcons was an easy one.
However, it doesn't guarantee Siemian anything. Sunday's game will be an extended audition for the starting job the rest of the season.
If he struggles against the Falcons average defense, New Orleans could go to Hill, or sign a veteran free agent, though at this point in the season a quarterback joining the team at the midway point and trying to get acclimated with the Saints playbook on the fly isn't ideal.
With 25 NFL starts under his belt, and a 13-12 record as a starter, Siemian can manage an NFL game, especially for a team with the 4th ranked scoring defense and an offensive line with multiple All-Pros.
Siemian is serviceable.
Serviceable will help this version of the Saints win enough games to reach the postseason.
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