Locals in the NFL, Week 14: Taysom Hill, Saints tops Zach Wilson, Jets in rare BYU QB duel

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill looks back as he runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Matt Rourke, Associated Press)



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AROUND THE SHIELD β€” The first NFL game featuring two starting quarterbacks from BYU in 24 years was known more as a penalty-kick shootout than anything done by New Orleans starter **Taysom Hill** and New York Jets rookie **Zach Wilson**.

Then Hill, burdened by the diagnosis of a mallet-finger injury earlier in the week and a recent foot injury, did Taysom Hill things: he used his legs.

The rest was history (if you're a Saints fan).

Hill completed 15-of-21 passes for 175 yards, but more importantly ran for 73 yards with scoring runs of two and 44 yards to help New Orleans pull away from the Jets, 30-9 Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

And despite the kicking β€” where the two teams combined for six field goals, including all the Jets' scoring through the leg of Eddy Pineiro β€” the game became known for its rushing.

The Saints (6-7) outgained the Jets 203 yards to 78 on the ground, including 120 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries from Alvin Kamara after missing the past four games with knee and hamstring injuries.

"I think statistically, the numbers speak for themselves," Hill said of Kamara. "But just having his presence on the field, being able to hand the ball to him; he does so much for this team. He's a great leader, an emotional guy, and plays with a lot of emotions.

"There are a lot of things he brings that the stats don't quantify."

It was also known for the two BYU quarterbacks, who represented starting signal callers from BYU on opposing sidelines for the first time since Steve Young and Ty Detmer in 1997. In a game blacked out by CBS in Utah in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs' 48-9 blowout over the Las Vegas Raiders, that storyline was relegated to nothing more than a historical footnote as Hill eliminated Wilson from playoff contention.

Sorry, rook, maybe next year. No hard feelings, though?

"I wasn't 100% watching everything they were doing," Wilson said moments after embracing Hill on the sidelines following his team's 10th loss of the season. "But he's a great player; you can see what he was able to do with the ball in his hands, whether it's throwing or stepping up and running. He's a true dual-threat guy, and gives a lot of issues to defenses.

"We got to talk a little afterwards. He's an awesome guy. I always wish the best for him."

The win snapped a five-game losing skid for the Saints, something Hill put squarely in the rearview mirror as he took off for 44-yard scoring spree with just over a minute left in the game.

All that was left was for New Orleans to shut out the Jets' offense, which former Utah safety Marcus Williams did when he tackled Wilson on the 1-yard line on the final play of the game.

With four games left, the Saints are three games back of the Buccaneers for the NFC South crown.

But their 6-7 record is on par with the Wild Card race, tied with each division's second-place team save the LA Rams (8-4).

"This has been a tough stretch for this team," Hill said. "It's been a foreign thing, losing so many games. I think we've had great leadership that have kept our heads down.

"We've got to stay the course; we're going to start winning football games, and that's what we did. It's nice to get the win."

The Saints are at Tampa Bay next Sunday, before finishing out the season with winnable home games against Miami and Carolina and the road finale at Atlanta.

Here's how other former standout high school and college football players from Utah performed in Week 14 of the 2021 NFL regular season.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) scrambles against Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Malik Jackson (97) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) scrambles against Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Malik Jackson (97) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland. (Photo: Ron Schwane, Associated Press)

LA Rams 30, Arizona 23 (Monday Night Football)

Rams (9-4)

  • Matt Gay, K, Utah/UVU/Orem: Booted field goals of 55, 35 and 33 yards; three extra-point attempts; and seven kickoffs on special teams.
  • Terrell Burgess, S, Utah: Starting safety made one tackle on defense.

Cardinals (10-3)

  • Leki Fotu, DT, Utah/Herriman: Reserve defensive lineman had one tackle, a tackle for loss, on defense.

Green Bay 45, Chicago 30 (Sunday Night Football)

Packers (10-3)

  • Tipa Galeai, LB, Utah State: Reserve linebacker made three tackles on defense.

Bears (4-9)

  • Khyiris Tonga, NT, BYU/Granger: Played as a reserve on the defensive line.
  • Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: Starting cornerback made three tackles, one pass breakup on defense.
  • Patrick Scales, LS, Utah State/Weber: Played 11 snaps on special teams.

New Orleans 23, NY Jets 6

Saints (6-7)

  • Taysom Hill, QB, BYU: completed 15-of-21 passes for 175 yards, and ran 11 times for 73 yards, including touchdown runs of 2 and 44 yards; recovered two fumbles.
  • Marcus Williams, FS, Utah: Totaled five tackles, including touchdown-saver on the 1-yard line.
  • Kaden Elliss, LB, Judge Memorial: Inactive for Week 14.

Jets (3-10)

  • Zach Wilson, QB, BYU/Corner Canyon: Completed 19-of-42 passes for 202 yards, ran four times for 33 yards.
  • Javelin Guidry, DB, Utah: Made four tackles on defense.

Cleveland 24, Baltimore 22

Browns (7-6)

  • Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU: Starting linebacker played on defense and special teams.

Ravens (8-5)

  • Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah: Replaced starting QB Lamar Jackson (ankle) and completed 27-of-38 passes for 270 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter; also ran six times for 45 yards.
  • Ty'Son Williams, RB, BYU: Playing sparingly on offense.

Atlanta 29, Carolina 21

Falcons (6-7)

  • No locals on the active roster.

Panthers (5-8)

  • Brady Christensen, OT, BYU/Bountiful: Started at right guard on offense.

Seattle 33, Houston 13

Seahawks (5-8)

  • Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State: Starting middle linebacker totaled team-high 15 tackles with a tackle for loss on defense β€” and he hates mayonnaise.
  • Cody Barton, LB, Utah/Brighton: Reserve linebacker played sparingly on defense.
  • Bryan Mone, DT, Highland: Reserve defensive lineman was injured in the second quarter.

Texans (2-11)

  • No locals on the active roster.

Kansas City 48, Las Vegas 9

Chiefs (9-4)

  • Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU: Starting safety made one tackle, two pass breakups on defense.
  • Marcus Kemp, WR, Layton: Reserve wide receiver made one tackle on special teams.

Raiders (6-7)

  • Andre James, OL, Herriman: Starting center on offense.
  • Jackson Barton, OT, Utah/Brighton: Reserve tackle played sparingly on offense.
  • Dallin Leavitt, S, Utah State: Played sparingly on defense and special teams.

Tennessee 20, Jacksonville 0

Titans (9-4)

  • No locals on the active roster.

Jaguars (2-11)

  • Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State: Reserve cornerback played sparingly on defense and special teams.
  • Jay Tufele, DT, Bingham: Inactive for Week 14.

Dallas 27, Washington 20

Cowboys (9-4)

  • Dalton Schultz, TE, Bingham: Reserve tight end caught one pass on four targets for 4 yards on offense.
  • Simi Fehoko, WR, Brighton: Inactive for Week 14.
  • Francis Bernard, LB, Utah/BYU/Herriman: Reserve linebacker played sparingly on defense and special teams.

Football Team (6-7)

  • Dax Milne, WR, BYU/Bingham: Inactive for Week 14.
  • Tyler Larsen, OL, Utah State/Jordan: Starting center was injured in the fourth quarter.

Denver 38, Detroit 10

Broncos (7-6)

  • Tim Patrick, WR, Utah: Starting wide receiver caught two passes for 21 yards on offense.
  • Garett Bolles, OT, Utah/Westlake/Snow College: Starting left tackle on offense.

Lions (1-11-1)

  • Penei Sewell, OT, Desert Hills: Starting right tackle on offense.
  • John Penisini, DL, Utah/West Jordan/Snow College: Reserve defensive tackle made two tackles on defense.

LA Chargers 37, NY Giants 21

Chargers (8-5)

  • Michael Davis, CB, BYU: Starting cornerback had three tackles, a tackle for loss and four pass breakups on defense.
  • Alohi Gilman, LB, Orem: Inactive for Week 14.

Giants (4-9)

  • Devontae Booker, RB, Utah: Reserve running back ran for 56 yards on eight carries, caught four passes for 28 yards on offense.

San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 23 (OT)

49ers (7-6)

  • Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Starting middle linebacker had seven tackles, one quarterback hurry on defense.
  • Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah: Punted seven times for 291 yards, averaging 41.6 yards per punt with one punt downed inside the 20 on special teams.

Bengals (7-6)

  • Jalen Davis, CB, Utah State: Reserve cornerback played sparingly on defense.

Tampa Bay 33, Buffalo 27 (OT)

Buccaneers (10-3)

  • No locals on the active roster.

Bills (7-6)

  • Zack Moss, RB, Utah: Inactive for Week 14.
  • Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah/Bingham/Snow College: Inactive for Week 14.
  • Taron Johnson, DB, Weber State: Starting nickel totaled five tackles on defense.

Minnesota 36, Pittsburgh 28

Vikings (6-7)

  • Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State/Fremont: Made one tackle in 10 defensive snaps, 21 snaps on special teams.

Steelers (6-6-1)

  • Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah: Made two tackles, including a tackle for loss, in six defensive snaps, 22 snaps on special teams.

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