Saints running back Alvin Kamara ran for a career-high 156 yards and two touchdowns to lead New Orleans past the Seattle Seahawks 23-15 on Sunday.
Alvin Kamara reached a milestone on Sunday as he helped the New Orleans Saints stop the Seattle Seahawks. The rookie running back had his first 100-yard game and became just the second player in NFL history to have at least one touchdown and two receiving touchdowns in their first three games.
SEATTLE (AP) — The New Orleans Saints narrowly escaped with a sloppy 13-10 victory against the Seattle Seahawks in wet and windy circumstances Monday night, despite a monster effort from running back Alvin Kamara.
Of course, New Orleans’ outstanding defense and undrafted rookie kicker Brian Johnson should be praised for their clutch efforts.
But it’s unnerving to consider where this Saints offense would be if Kamara, who accounted for 179 of the team’s 304 yards on 30 carries and scored the team’s lone touchdown, wasn’t on the field.
In the process, Kamara set a new NFL record by being the quickest player to earn 3,000 career running yards and 3,000 career receiving yards in his 66th game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, former San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig established the previous record of 70 games.
“When you put the ball in AK’s hands and watch what he does, it’s always exciting,” said Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, who fumbled the shotgun snap before his 13-yard TD pass to Kamara in the final minute of the first half — then scooped it up with his left hand, threw it to Kamara in the middle of soft zone coverage, and let him do the rest.
Kamara stated, “I didn’t even run the path I was supposed to take.” “I simply sat in a vacuum and somehow managed to get the ball and score… I wasn’t expecting them to play that defensive straight away, but they did, and it cost them the game.”
After halftime, the Seahawks wised up and double-covered Kamara for the most of the second half, limiting the Saints to only 87 yards and three scores. On the go-ahead field goal drive, Kamara produced the most important play, gaining 12 yards on a third-and-10 run.
“In the second half, they had a tremendous game plan of doubling AK, and we’re going to have a solution for that,” Winston said. “All we have to do now is win on the outside, and we will.”
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When the Saints (4-2) face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, they will have a short week to jet back across the country and prepare for a much harder opponent who will demand more playmakers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox).
Winston had a lackluster effort, completing 19 of 35 passes for 222 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions while also rushing eight times for 40 yards. On 15 targets, New Orleans’ wide receivers only caught four passes. Winston was to blame for parts of it, particularly on several errant short throws. However, the Saints’ lack of established skill at wide receiver and tight end did him no favors throughout the night, as his teammates dropped potential long receptions or failed to get open. That has been New Orleans’ worst flaw all season, and it was never more obvious than on Monday night.
The Saints were without injured receivers Michael Thomas and Deonte Harris, as well as quarterback/playmaker Taysom Hill, due to injuries. They did have receiver Tre’Quan Smith back for the first time this season, but he and Winston couldn’t get on the same page, leading to a sideline brawl that Winston stated was “simply communication; we had to be on the same page.”
The highly anticipated clash between Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf didn’t disappoint, and it almost ended in brawls. On Seattle’s first drive, Metcalf won the first round with an 84-yard touchdown reception. Despite the fact that Metcalf looked to get away with offensive pass interference, both players made a lot of contact before Lattimore went to the ground. The two continued to fight throughout the night, with Lattimore receiving two personal foul penalties for shoves, face mask grabs, and yelling battles. Metcalf was eventually held in check by Lattimore, who only caught one more throw for 12 yards.
Sean Payton, the coach of the New Orleans Saints, expressed fear that emotions may erupt.
“You don’t want to send 140 people from Seattle to New Orleans just to lose because the event slips through your fingers. Everyone is relying on each other “Payton said. “And I understand your desire to be competitive. But I believe that’s a sign of a good team when you know how to win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and win and It’s more crucial than everything else to leave with a victory. It’s a young squad, you know. That message is still being preached.”
The Saints’ defense continued to be the team’s strength, allowing just 219 yards against Seattle (84 of them on that one play). And linebacker Demario Davis, who led the team with 10 tackles, 2 sacks, and 4 tackles for loss, remained at the vanguard of the effort. The Saints were fourth in the NFL in points allowed per game (18.2) before the night, and they improved on that statistic.
Pivotal plays: On a wet, windy night when points looked difficult to come by for both offenses, it’s often better to be fortunate than excellent. With 3:08 remaining, the Saints were about to try a 42-yard field goal when Seattle was called for encroachment. After the two-minute warning, Johnson was given the opportunity to attempt the game-winning 33-yard field goal. Johnson was making his NFL debut after being signed off the Chicago Bears’ practice squad last week. He is New Orleans’ seventh kicker this season. Wil Lutz, a veteran, is set to return from injury shortly. When asked how he would think in a stressful circumstance in bad weather in front of a hostile audience, Johnson said, “Not to consider any of those possibilities. Not to overthink things, but to just go out there and do what I’ve done before.”
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