RB Alvin Kamara - New Orleans Saints
|5-10, 214||Born: 7-25-1995||College: Tennessee||Drafted: Round 3, pick 67 (2017)|
2018 Week 1 vs TB (8 / 29 / 2 rush, 12 / 9 / 112 / 1 rec)
It is hard to get anything going on the ground when your team is down, and the opposition seems to be able to score at will. Kamara was able to cash in on some easy goal line touchdowns as well as one through the air within 10 yards. The vaunted rush attack that kept teams at bay last season was never able to get going as they collectively rushed the ball 13 times for 43 total yards. Kamara found success rushing the ball off the ends for 5 and 1-yard touchdowns and a two-point conversion right up the middle. Kamara also made his presence felt in the passing game catching 9 of 12 targets for over 100 yards. He also took a quick swing pass into the end zone, again striking from the outside. The Saints will need to do a better job establishing the run next week against the Browns to have a more balanced offense. Kamara will continue to see the bulk of the work while Ingram is serving his suspension and while Gillislee is recovering from his disastrous fumble today.
2018 Week 2 vs CLE (13 / 46 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 53 / 0 rec)
It is baffling that the Saints will not commit to Kamara in the offense. He played second fiddle to Mark Ingram last season and now that he gets his opportunity for the bulk of the work due to Ingram's suspension, the Saints refuse to use him. Kamara only had 5 more carries than back up Mike Gillislee. There is no reason he should receive less than 20 touches per game, especially when he is one of the Saints best weapons. Kamara had an early touchdown erased after an offensive holding call, and his only other real opportunity was a two-point conversion he converted right up the middle. Brees wanted to get the second year back going in the passing game and threw 6 targets his way. Kamara fell a yard short of 100 combined yards this week and was never given the chance to get going. The Saints are going to have to reassess their usage of Kamara going forward or they are going to continue to struggle against teams like the Browns. It will be interesting to see how his usage is affected when Ingram comes back from suspension as well.
2018 Week 3 vs ATL (16 / 66 / 0 rush, 20 / 15 / 124 / 0 rec)
It only took 3 weeks, but the Saints finally committed to Kamara in the offense. He had 16 carries to lead all runners and also had 20 targets in the passing game, also a team high. Kamara did not find it very easy to run against the Falcons, but his 16 carries did help soften things up underneath for the passing game. Kamara was not credited with a touchdown after his 3-yard plunge in overtime was overturned and set the Saints up on the 1-yard line. It is not very often that you see Brees take away 2 touchdowns from his running backs on the ground, but he made up for it with the 20 targets and over 100 yards in the air. Kamara's longest rush came in at 17 yards and the longest reception at 21. He may not have gotten into the end zone, but he helped keep drives alive on third down and served as a decoy all day long. The Falcons seemed committed to sell out and stop the run. There was a linebacker on a run blitz almost every play and this opened things up underneath for a streaking receiver or for Kamara to leak out as a check down. The best example was the 4th and 1 play where the play action to Kamara resulted in an easy touchdown for Zach Line. Kamara would have been stopped in the back field and resulted in a turnover on downs, but the play resulted in a touchdown instead because of the commitment to Kamara. With the return of Mark Ingram looming, it will be interesting to see how Kamara's usage changes down the stretch.
2018 Week 4 vs NYG (19 / 134 / 3 rush, 9 / 5 / 47 / 0 rec)
Kamara was trying to make a statement the week before Mark Ingram comes back from suspension. He has had a very up and down season so far as the Saints have not committed to using him like a lead back. Through 3 weeks he has had more value through the air than on the ground, but that changed this week. Kamara kicked things off with a 9-yard scamper behind the left guard for his touchdown. New Orleans lined up with Taysom Hill at quarterback and went read option for the touchdown. Hill has been a threat to throw the ball after a successful fake punt play, but it was always going to be a run play in this situation. The second touchdown was a 4-yard plunge where he was originally ruled short of the goal line. After a review the play was overturned, and Kamara awarded his second touchdown. His 3rd and final touchdown was the dagger for the Giants. Kamara burst off tackle for 49 yards and put the game out of reach. He turned the corner and put on the jets all the way to the end zone. Kamara also hauled in 5 of his team high 9 targets this week and had the same number of yards as Michael Thomas through the air. The split for carries should still favor Kamara with Ingram coming back and he should not lose his value in the passing game, but it will be interesting to see how much Ingram cuts into his overall number of touches.
2018 Week 5 vs WAS (6 / 24 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 15 / 0 rec)
Oh, what could have been? Kamara was the offensive leader for the Saints in the first 4 weeks and one of the only players not named Michael Thomas to excel in the offense. Then enter week5 and the return of Mark Ingram and it all changed. Kamara was out touched 9-18 and even lost work in the passing game to Ingram. His longest play of the game was a meaningless 9-yard rush and a 6-yard reception. The Saints made it clear that Ingram is still the starter despite what Kamara has done in recent weeks. Going forward, this season should look a lot like last with the offense riding the hot back from week to week. If Kamara can break a play early he should see more work, but he is always in danger of losing goal line carries to Ingram for the rest of the season. If the split continues this way, Kamara is going to move down in a lot of the rankings.
2018 Week 7 vs BAL (17 / 64 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
After being pushed to near irrelevance in Ingram's first game back, Kamara was the one who got the ball more this week and even came away with the lone touchdown on the ground. Both backs lost 6 carries to Taysom Hill, but it was Ingram who lost more volume this week than Kamara. The carry distribution was 17 for Kamara and 12 for Ingram. There were always going to be games where one back had the hot hand and was running better than the other, but today it was not quite that different. Kamara averaged just over a yard per carry more than Ingram at 3.7, and his longest run was 12 yards. The biggest difference this week was the amount of goal line work Kamara got. On the Saints second touchdown, it was Kamara who got the ball 4 times within the red zone and eventually punched it in from the 2-yard line. This was the first second half touchdown allowed by the Ravens all season and it was just a pure power run by Kamara up the middle. He also received 2 targets in the passing game and hauled in both. The Saints are going to need one of their backs to get hot next week against the Vikings if they want to come away with another win.
2018 Week 8 vs MIN (13 / 45 / 1 rush, 8 / 7 / 31 / 1 rec)
After taking a back seat due to the return of Mark Ingram, Kamara finally broke through with 2 touchdowns this week. Both backs had the same number of carries, but Kamara got the most important one. After he caught a pass from Brees and took the ball to the 1-yard line, Kamara's number was called again as he leapt up and over the line for a touchdown. It has traditionally been Ingram who has gotten the ball in these situations, but the Saints gave Kamara the opportunity to cap of the drive where he had done most of the work. Kamara also hauled in a 3-yard touchdown pass from Brees for the Saints first touchdown of the game. New Orleans utilized the mismatch created by Kamara when there was a linebacker in coverage. There are very few linebackers that can keep up with Kamara in pass coverage and the Vikings learned that the hard way this week. Kamara led the Saints in targets this week with 8 and caught 7 of them. There is no telling which back is going to get the work each week and the Saints like having that element of surprise.
2018 Week 9 vs LAR (19 / 82 / 2 rush, 5 / 4 / 34 / 1 rec)
The Saints seem to have finally figured out that Kamara is the future of their back field and the best option they currently have on their roster. They rushed him 19 times and targeted him another 5 times in the passing game. Kamara rewarded this trust with 3 total touchdowns and was the driving force behind the Saints biggest win of the season. His first touchdown was an 11-yard scamper into the end zone. Kamara took the pitch off the left side and showed some fancy footwork to follow his blocks into the end zone. The second touchdown was a short catch and run outlet pass where he caught the ball 6 yards down field and had enough for the first down but then turned the corner for the last 10 yards and was untouched going into the end zone. His third and final touchdown was a 1-yard power run right up the middle. There was a massive hole and Kamara was not even touched going into the end zone. This is an area normally reserved for Mark Ingram, but the Saints continue to trust Kamara more right now. It will be a great running back matchup next week with Kamara squaring off against Joe Mixon and the Bengals.
2018 Week 10 vs CIN (12 / 56 / 2 rush, 5 / 4 / 46 / 0 rec)
It has been Kamara's backfield to lead for the majority of the season, but Ingram cut in to that this week. He still managed exactly 100 scrimmage yards and 2 touchdowns, but it was not the same dominance that we have seen all season. Kamara had 12 carries to Ingram's 11 and 5 targets to Ingram's 3. The most important category was the touchdowns. Kamara got the goal line work this week in a role reversal to all of last season. The Saints like the way he darts through defenders or gets to the outside down around the goal line and have used him extensively this year. His longest rush of the day was 14 yards and his longest reception was 19. His first touchdown was a 4-yard power run right off the guard. Kamara made his way through traffic and powered his way into the end zone. His second touchdown was from 1-yard out but a little more difficult. He took the pitch from Brees but had to retreat almost 10 yards before gaining the corner on the defensive end and sprinting his way for the touchdown. The play was late to develop and was not blocked very well, but Kamara used his speed for the touchdown. The Saints backfield looked a lot more like it did last season this week and that is a scary thought going in to playoff time.
2018 Week 11 vs PHI (13 / 71 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 37 / 1 rec)
The return of Ingram was always going to cut into Kamara's playing time, but the Saints have made it work the last 2 years. This week the distribution was very close with Kamara having 14 touches and Ingram having 16. Kamara did not have as much success on the ground this week, but was the only running back to catch a pass. Kamara was the recipient of an amazing throw from Brees on 4th and 6 down the sideline. The Saints lined up in an empty set and Kamara ran a streak down the sideline. It looked to be designed as a clear out route to get the first down underneath. That was until Kamara got a step on his man and Brees hit him in stride 24 yards down the field. Kamara ran the other 13 yards on his own for the touchdown. This was his only target of the day and it looked more like a receiver route than a running back. Kamara chipped in a long run of 16 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry this week. The Saints could have easily pushed both of their back over 100 yards, but Dwayne Washington got a few carries at the end of the game in a cleanup role instead of Kamara.
2018 Week 12 vs ATL (14 / 89 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
The Saints have the luxury of 2 running backs who can lead the way on any given week. This week it was Kamara who had 15 touches to Ingram's 11. He was able to find more room to run through the line and cut through even the smallest hole with authority this week. Kamara averaged 6.4 yards per carry this week and was the most effective back for the Saints. The passing game took an unusual route as Brees targeted his second and third options at receiver rather than his stars. There were weeks when Kamara would have 10+ targets in the passing game and this week he only had 1. His longest rush of the night was 18 yards off tackle for a first down. The team as a whole rushed for 150 total yards and Kamara made up for about 2/3 of that total. Expect the Saints to continue to rotate their backs and keep everyone as fresh and healthy as possible going into the playoffs.
2018 Week 13 vs DAL (11 / 36 / 0 rush, 11 / 8 / 36 / 0 rec)
With Drew Brees struggling, the rushing attack needed to pick up the slack, but that did not happen this week. Kamara hit a wall of defenders every time he touched the ball and was able to break free only once for 7 yards. He averaged 3.3 yards per carry this week and was bottled up by a devastating defense this week. He did his damage in the passing game by catching 8 of his 11 targets, but his longest play through the air was only 8 yards. Kamara only averaged 4.5 yards per catch this week and could not break free there either. He was also targeted on the final drive of the game where Brees threw the interception, but there was nothing he could do to change that play. Kamara saw 35 offensive snaps or about 63% of their plays. This was 14 more snaps than Ingram, but he only did more damage in the passing game. It was not a great day for Kamara or anyone else in the Saints offense.
2018 Week 14 vs TB (12 / 51 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 36 / 0 rec)
Since Mark Ingram returned, Kamara has not been the same back. The Saints continue to split their carries and will not commit one way or the other. The split today was 12 for Kamara and 13 for Ingram. The biggest difference was in the passing game where Kamara had 6 targets to Ingram's 3. There has been a changing dynamic all season. Some weeks Kamara will get the goal line carries and Ingram the passing situations and visa versa. It has been a tough season to predict for the Saints backfield. Kamara's longest run today was 12 yards off tackle and his longest reception was 15 yards. Kamara had not found the end zone on the ground since week 10 where he had back to back games with 2 touchdowns. Kamara did chip in with a 2-point conversion today but did not get the same usage in the red zone as earlier in the season.
2018 Week 15 vs CAR (14 / 67 / 1 rush, 9 / 7 / 36 / 0 rec)
This game would have had a much different ending had it not been for Kamara in the second half. The Saints rode Ingram heavy in the first half and found success moving the ball but could not find the end zone. It was Kamara who finally broke that trend with a little over 12 minutes left in the game to give the Saints the lead. He took the ball 16 yards off the right tackle for the touchdown. It was a pure speed run as he bounced to the outside and simply outran the poor angle of the defender to the end zone. Where Kamara really set himself apart from Ingram this week was in the passing game. He tied Thomas for the team lead with 9 targets and 7 receptions. He was never truly able to break free and was tackled almost immediately on almost every throw. His longest reception this week went for 11 yards. With 23 total touches this week, Kamara finally saw the volume he was getting at the start of the season. Ingram is always going to be there taking away carries, but Kamara is still the better option out of that back field going forward.
2018 Week 16 vs PIT (7 / 23 / 2 rush, 6 / 4 / 82 / 0 rec)
There was not much room to run this week for Kamara. He only had 7 carries and rushed for less than 25 yards. However, he did get his number called twice at the goal line. His first score also came on his longest carry of the game. Kamara took the ball 8 yards off tackle and won the foot race to the corner of the end zone. His second score was a pure power run right up the middle. Ingram had done the work to get the Saints to the 1-yard line but failed to punch it in on the play prior. Kamara cleaned up the mess and punched it in for the score. It was also another productive day through the air. Kamara caught 4 of his 6 targets and was second on the team in receiving yards. He had an important 42-yard reception just before half time to setup a Lutz field goal. Kamara caught the ball across the middle and then cut down the sideline for extra yards before finally stepping out. It proved to be very important as the final difference in the game was a single field goal.
2018 Week 19 vs PHI (16 / 71 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 35 / 0 rec)
It was a tough game on the ground for the Saints. They had featured their backs so heavily all season and found great success. However, this week they ran at a wall of Eagles defenders over and over again to almost no avail. Kamara saw the bulk of the work and almost doubled up Ingram on carries. He was also second on the team in receptions despite not being involved in the passing game early. Kamara's longest rush of the game was 15 yards, but his most important was the last 12-yard rush for a first down that allowed the Saints to take a knee and end the game. Kamara combined for over 100 yards this week, but they did not seem to use him in the same spots. Both of Brees touchdowns came from the 2-yard line, and this is a spot that they have used either Kamara or Ingram almost all season. The Saints are going to need a much more balanced attack next week to beat the Rams. Kamara and the rushing game will have to get things going early to come away with the victory.
2018 Week 20 vs LAR (8 / 15 / 0 rush, 13 / 11 / 96 / 0 rec)
The running game has been a strength for the Saints all season long, and then they ran into the Rams this week. Kamara carried the ball 8 times and averaged less than 2 yards per carry. His longest rush was 6 yards and he just could not find any room to run. His biggest contribution this week was through the air. Kamara led the team in targets (13), receptions (11), and even yardage. The Saints picked on the Rams linebackers and lineman in coverage and Kamara made the magic happen after the catch. His longest reception was 21 yards when he was able to take a short out route up the sideline for additional yardage. The Saints struggled to run the ball and ended up throwing the ball almost twice as much this week. Kamara had a dominant season and it came to an unfortunate end when the Saints could not pull off the victory.
2017 Week 1 vs MIN (7 / 18 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 20 / 0 rec)
To make the Saints backfield situation even more complicated, the rookie out of Tennessee lead the team in rushing attempts tonight. He was not any more effective than either Ingram or Peterson, but did manage one more carry than both backs and played a role in the passing game. Head coach Sean Peyton showed a willingness to use the rookie and we could see his role expand if the discord between Peyton and Peterson grows.
2017 Week 2 vs NE (1 / 3 / 0 rush, 7 / 3 / 51 / 0 rec)
The Saints talked about how they were going to make Alvin Kamara a bigger part of their game plan as the season went on. The rookie had a decent showing week one but was only given one rush attempt today. The rookie did get his chance in the passing game with 7 targets but did not do as much damage as he could have. Kamara has some issues catching the ball as he was looking downfield before securing the ball. The Saints have shown no commitment to any back on the ground, but they do seem to like Kamara in passing situations.
2017 Week 3 vs CAR (2 / 37 / 1 rush, 5 / 3 / 5 / 0 rec)
The Saints' front office keeps talking about how much they like the versatile Kamara and how his role in the offense is going to increase. However, the rookie running back was only given two carries this week despite the Saints holding a lead for almost the entire game. Kamara did a lot of damage on those two carries with a 25-yard touchdown run and another 12-yard carry for a first down. Kamara's touchdown came on a stretch play to the right side where he outran the defensive end to the corner and then down the sideline and into the end zone. Kamara was not touched until he reached the pylon but still tiptoed into the end zone. If he can keep up this success, we will see his usage increase week to week.
2017 Week 4 vs MIA (5 / 25 / 0 rush, 10 / 10 / 71 / 1 rec)
The Saints offense went through Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara today. The rookie running back has shown he can run through the tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield. Kamara was second to only Michael Thomas with 10 targets and managed to catch all of them. The big touchdown play came on a 12-yard shovel pass that Kamara was able to get into the end zone. Brees took the snap from the shotgun with Kamara and Ingram to his sides. The initial fake went to Ingram and the eventual shovel pass to Kamara who was able to weave his way through the defense for a touchdown. The Saints have talked about how much they want to use Kamara and he has seen his role increase almost every week. If the Saints decide to move on from Peterson, Kamara will be the biggest beneficiary.
2017 Week 6 vs DET (10 / 75 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 12 / 0 rec)
It could be argued the Kamara actually had a better day running the ball than Mark Ingram, but the coaching staff favored Ingram in touches 2 to 1. The rookie back averaged 7.5 yards per carry and ripped off a 21-yard run off the left end. Kamara's biggest asset has come in the passing game but he was ever out-targeted by Ingram 5 to 4. The Saints have never been a rushing team but have shown who they want to move forward with. Ingram is going to be the clear starting back but it looks like the coaching staff is going to feed the hot hand game to game.
2017 Week 7 vs GB (9 / 57 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 50 / 0 rec)
Kamara saw a steep decline in his rushing attempts this week as he was outpaced by Ingram 22-9. The rookie running back is seeing a shift in third down and pass-catching work in his favor, however. Kamara saw 7 targets to Ingram's 5 and did a lot more damage overall. Kamara helped to set up a field goal in the 4th quarter with a 19-yard rush right through the middle of the defense. Kamara was not touched until he reached the secondary and this run helped to put the Saints back on top late in the game. His biggest pass play came on the Saints' first drive with a 24-yard catch and run down the sideline. Unfortunately, this drive ended with a Brees' interception, but Kamara continues to show his value in the passing game. The Saints have established that Mark Ingram is going to be the lead back and see the majority of the carries, but Kamara is the clear second back and will continue to see more work if his productivity continues.
2017 Week 8 vs CHI (8 / 28 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 48 / 0 rec)
The workload continues to heavily favor Mark Ingram, but Kamara continues to make the most of his touches. Ingram outpaced him in almost every category except for receiving yards today. Even with twice as many receptions, Kamara still doubled up on Ingram's yards through the air. The biggest stat to also go in his favor was not fumbling the ball as Ingram put it on the ground twice. Kamara was also given a gift of a touchdown today in a situation that rarely happens. After being stopped on third down in the red zone, the Bears jumped offside and nullified the successful field goal with a new set of downs. Kamara promptly took the ball 8-yards off the left end for a touchdown. This is normally Mark Ingram territory, but the Saints had lined up in a spread look and Kamara continues to play in more passing situations. He did not have much success on the ground outside of this play but did add a 34-yard reception for a critical first down.
2017 Week 9 vs TB (10 / 68 / 1 rush, 7 / 6 / 84 / 1 rec)
Mark Ingram has been the lead back all season, but Kamara is quickly catching up. The rookie running back has taken almost every share of third down and passing game work from Ingram and is making the most of every opportunity. If there is one knock from the game today it was the fumble Kamara lost. This is the same issue that plagued Ingram last week and not something you want to do if you are looking to win the starting job. However, a 33-yard receiving touchdown will help to win you some points back. Kamara took the ball 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage and then would not be denied by any defender on his way to the end zone. Kamara broke several tackles in route to the game's first offensive touchdown. His rushing touchdown came on a 6-yard score after a 33-yard rush by Ingram. It was interesting to see Kamara get the goal line work after Ingram did most of the work to get them down the field and already had 3 plays to rest between attempts. This may be a message sent by the coaching staff or could be a changing of the guard in the New Orleans backfield.
2017 Week 10 vs BUF (12 / 106 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 32 / 0 rec)
The Saints have built a two-headed rushing attack that is quickly surpassing everyone else in the league. Kamara has come in and established himself from day 1 and shows no signs of slowing down. Kamara's biggest asset is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. In a game where passing yards were a premium, Kamara was the only running back to register a catch. He caught all 5 of his targets and ranked only behind Michael Thomas in both yards and targets. Kamara's biggest plays came on the first drive of the second half. After taking the ball 19 yards off the right end and being pushed out of bounds on the 5-yard line, Kamara promptly took the next hand off the last 5 yards into the end zone with the exact same play on the next snap. Kamara had the first 100-yard rushing game of his career, the most rushing attempts of his career, and a rushing touchdown for the third consecutive week.
2017 Week 11 vs WAS (8 / 42 / 0 rush, 9 / 6 / 74 / 1 rec)
Much like the rest of the Saints offense, Kamara did most of his damage in the fourth quarter as heading into the fourth quarter Kamara had just 43 yards heading into the quarter. Kamara was shut down early as five of his eight touches went for two yards or less in the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, Kamara erupted as he had three receptions for 48 yards including a touchdown in which he showed off his hands as the ball popped up into the air and Kamara was able to catch it and elude three tacklers on some very poor tackling by the Redskins secondary.
2017 Week 12 vs LAR (5 / 87 / 1 rush, 6 / 6 / 101 / 1 rec)
Kamara seemed to be the only Saint who had any success on offense. Kamara lead the team in both rushing and receiving this week and accounted for both touchdowns. The first touchdown came on a 74-yard burst off the right guard where he outran the entire defense. Kamara was not touched during his long run, but it was the only success he would find on the ground for the rest of the day. Kamara only managed 4 carries for 13 yards outside of that rush. The real success was in the passing game as he was the only receiver with over 100 yards this week. He also added a garbage time touchdown with :42 left on the clock. This was another case where he was not touched by the defense, catching the underneath route in soft coverage. Throw in a 33-yard reception to help setup a field goal and Kamara had the best all-around day of any Saint. It will be interesting to see if Kamara gets any extra work with Ingram banged up and the success he had this week.
2017 Week 13 vs CAR (9 / 60 / 2 rush, 6 / 5 / 66 / 0 rec)
Kamara was rewarded for his big week last week and given the first carry of the game today. This was most likely more of a game script thing and has nothing to do with who the starter is and so on. Kamara got the first carry but Ingram came in and took the second, but it is worth noting with the success Kamara has been having. Kamara also outgained Ingram in total yards and found the end zone twice today. It was Ingram who broke the big play, but Kamara was consistent and more effective overall this week. The first touchdown came on 4th and 2 from the Carolina 2 after Ingram had failed to get in and a Drew Brees pass was stopped for no gain. Kamara was able to scamper off the right end and into the end zone for an easy score. The second touchdown was the highlight reel run after he broke for 20 yards off the right end and into the end zone for the Saints final touchdown of the day. Kamara also caught 5 of his 6 targets and had 9 carries. This puts the touch distribution at 15 for Kamara and 21 for Ingram. If Kamara continues to produce, this number will start getting closer as the season winds down.
2017 Week 14 vs ATL (1 / 2 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec)
Things were looking to be business as usual for Kamara until he took a shot to the head and was taken off the field as part of the concussion protocol. Kamara was taken to the locker room to be evaluated and then was not seen again for the rest of the game. This was a huge loss for a Saints offense that has embraced Kamara in the Darren Sproles role of a few years ago. Kamara already had a 23-yard reception before leaving with an injury that changed the entire face of this game.
2017 Week 15 vs NYJ (12 / 44 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 45 / 1 rec)
After suffering a concussion last week and having to exit the game, Kamara cleared protocol and was back to splitting time in the Saints backfield this week. It was interesting to hear that the coaching staff went back to look at old film of Reggie Bush to find ways to best use Kamara in the Saints offense. The rookie running back had 1 more touch than Ingram but did not rip off the same big plays that he did. Kamara did add a 10-yard catch and run touchdown, but only managed a 12-yard rush as his long and 29 of his 45 receiving yards came on a single play. The touch distribution shows the coaching staff's trust in Kamara and their belief that he is totally healthy. The Saints have a two-headed rushing attack that will be difficult to stop for any team in the playoffs.
2017 Week 16 vs ATL (12 / 32 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 58 / 0 rec)
This was not a great rushing game for anyone, but Kamara struggled immensely. Ingram was able to break one big play and get into the end zone, while Kamara could not get free and was beat up all night. Almost half of his rushing yards came on a single play and he barely surpassed 30 rushing yards on the day. Kamara did lead the team in targets with 9 and broke a big play for 25 yards and accounted for almost half of his receiving yards. It is rare to see a running back lead a team in targets, especially one that has Michael Thomas. Kamara is just short of 700 yards on the season with 7 rushing touchdowns and will have one more week against Tampa Bay to cement his offensive rookie of the year candidacy.
2017 Week 17 vs TB (9 / 44 / 1 rush, 7 / 6 / 84 / 0 rec)
This could be the week that Kamara finally takes over and forces the Saints to give him more touches. He had the big 106-yard kick return to electrify the crowd and breathe life back into the Saints offense. He also added 84 yards through the air, almost half of which came on a single catch and run down the sideline for 40 yards. Kamara had 4 fewer carries than Ingram and still had 9 more yards on the ground as well. The touch distribution was closer to 50/50 than it has been at any other point during the season. Kamara was the most productive Saint on the offensive side of the ball this week and should have cemented his offensive rookie of the year candidacy. Kamaraís second touchdown came on a 7-yard rumble up the middle after a big gain from Michael Thomas in the passing game. This is where Ingram usually gets the ball, but Kamara was used on 4 straight plays in the red zone for the touchdown.
2017 Week 18 vs CAR (10 / 23 / 1 rush, 3 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Just like Ingram, Kamara had a game he would soon like to forget. He out-touched Ingram 11-10 and did get the call in a goal to go situation for the touchdown, but he only had 10 carries and averaged 2.3 yards per carry. The rookie backís longest run of the day was a tough 5 yards up the middle and the touchdown came from 2 yards out. Kamara did not even play a big role in the passing game as he only caught 1 of 3 targets for 10 yards. The Panthers talked all week about how they planned to stop the run and that was the only thing their defense succeeded to do. Look for the Saints to try and get back to running the ball next week against the Vikings.
2017 Week 19 vs MIN (11 / 43 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 62 / 1 rec)
The vaunted New Orleans rushing attack has been nonexistent in the playoffs. Neither running back ran for more than 45 yards and the team combined for less than 100 total yards on the ground. Kamara had 1 more carry than Ingram and 4 more touches total. He had slightly more success with a 3.9 yards per carry average, but that is far from his season average. Kamara's longest run of the day was 10 yards, but most of his damage came through the air. Kamara caught a 14-yard wheel route from Brees for the final Saints touchdown and a brief lead. The rookie running back worked the wheel underneath 2 post routes and was able to outrun his linebacker in coverage for an easy touchdown. There was a very similar play in the second half where Kamara leaked out on a wide receiver pass, but Willie Snead overthrew him for what would have been an easy touchdown. Kamara seems to be the back of the future in New Orleans and it will be interesting to see how much his role increases next season.