Alvin Kamara has been one of the NFL’s elite running backs over the last few years. For much of the 2020 season, he was viewed as the best active running back. Unfortunately, since Drew Brees went down, the New Orleans Saints have not utilized Kamara nearly enough.
It seems very strange for a team to go away from using one of the top running backs in the game, however, that is exactly what has happened with Taysom Hill as the starting quarterback.
Over the last four games, Alvin Kamara’s game-high for carries is 15, which came against the Atlanta Falcons. He has a total of 10 catches in those four games. That number of touches simply isn’t enough for a player of Kamara’s caliber.
Following their Week 14 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, something needs to change. The Saints are now 10-3, which drops them below the Green Bay Packers for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. If they want to get their offense back on track, with or without Brees, Sean Payton needs to focus on getting Kamara more involved.
How Has Alvin Kamara Performed This Season?
So far this year, Alvin Kamara has racked up 154 carries for 723 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has also caught 77 passes for 699 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers speak for themselves.
Kamara is capable of breaking for a big touchdown anytime he touches the ball. He has proved that time and time again throughout his career. Even this season, he has broken off some big plays.
That makes it even more confusing why his role has diminished without Brees on the field. Hill has not targeted him much in the passing game, until last week against the Eagles. No matter when Brees returns to the field, Kamara deserves more carries and a large number of targets through the air.
Latavius Murray has been part of the reason that Kamara has not touched the ball as much as he should. Murray has made a solid impact, but he does not bring the kind of playmaking potential that Kamara does. In addition to that, Kamara feeds off of getting into a rhythm.
How The Saints Need To Use Alvin Kamara Moving Forward
With the playoffs right around the corner, the Saints need to stop worrying about keeping Alvin Kamara fresh. Instead, they need to focus on getting him going. They will need Kamara to be firing on all cylinders in the final three weeks of the season and into the playoffs.
New Orleans is still firmly in the hunt to win the top seed in the NFC. Green Bay has a tough matchup with the Tennessee Titans in Week 16. However, they do have two very winnable games against the Carolina Panthers in Week 15 and the Chicago Bears in Week 17.
For the Saints, they have a tough Week 15 matchup coming up against the Kansas City Chiefs. Following that game, they will face off against the Minnesota Vikings and Panthers to finish of the year. All three of those games have their own difficulties.
In order to knock off the Chiefs, the Saints will need to put on an impressive offensive performance. They are hoping that Brees will be back, but they aren’t going to rush him if he isn’t quite ready. Either way, Kamara needs to be at the heart of their game plan.
Kansas City is full of playmakers like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and of course, Patrick Mahomes. Kamara is by far the biggest playmaker the Saints have. Michael Thomas is good, but he is more of a possession wideout than a big-time playmaker.
It will be very interesting to see how the Saints’ offense looks throughout the remainder of the season. But, if they continue using Kamara sparingly, things could be very difficult for them.
Moving forward, it would behoove the Saints to give Alvin Kamara between 15 to 25 carries per game. They should also throw at least 10 targets his way through the air. If they get the ball in Kamara’s hands that much, good things will come.
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