Alvin Kamara’s Record-Tying 6 Rushing TDs Power Drew Brees, Saints Past Vikings

Alvin Kamara’s Record-Tying 6 Rushing TDs Power Drew Brees, Saints Past Vikings

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Brett Duke/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints are NFC South champions for a fourth straight season.

New Orleans clinched the division title thanks to a 52-33 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

New Orleans Saints @Saints

4th-straight NFC South title for the #Saints!

⚜️ ⚜️⚜️⚜️ https://t.co/BnNpMqZJlI

The Vikings are now not only mathematically eliminated from playoff contention but also guarantee themselves their first losing season since 2014. Missing the postseason for the second time in three years is a bitter pill to swallow for a franchise that was one game away from the Super Bowl in 2017.

Alvin Kamara tied the record for rushing touchdowns, finding the end zone six times and outscoring the Vikings on his own en route to a career game.

The Saints’ 52 points were also the most allowed by Minnesota since 1963. New Orleans gained 583 total yards while averaging eight yards per play.

Notable Performers

Drew Brees, QB, Saints: 19-of-26, 311 yards, two interceptions

Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints: 22 carries, 155 yards, six touchdowns; three receptions, 17 yards

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Saints: four receptions, 83 yards

Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings: 27-of-41, 291 yards, three touchdowns

Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings: eight receptions, 97 yards, one touchdown

Irv Smith Jr., TE, Vikings: six receptions, 53 yards, two touchdowns

Kamara Becomes the Hardest-Working Person on Christmas

Depending on your perspective, Kamara was either Santa Claus or played the role of the Grinch for fantasy football managers on Christmas.

It’s hard to say anything about his performance that isn’t immediately apparent upon looking at his final numbers. The Saints were without two of their best receivers, Michael Thomas and Tre’Quan Smith, but that didn’t matter because Kamara carved up a Vikings defense that has struggled against the run all season.

The Checkdown @thecheckdown

Kamara took half the defense with him 😳 @A_kamara6 @Saints

📺 #MINvsNO on NFLN/FOX/PRIME VIDEO https://t.co/6NxUDsOW8N

NFL @NFL

[email protected]_kamara6 was definitely on the nice list.

FOURTH TOUCHDOWN OF THE DAY! 😱 @Saints #Saints

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NFL @NFL

Count ’em. 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

That’s FIVE Christmas TDs for @A_kamara6! @Saints #Saints

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On the whole, Kamara has been a somewhat disappointing fantasy performer. Drew Brees’ absence didn’t help matters. The four-time Pro Bowl running back made up for it Friday.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Feeling for anyone facing #Saints RB Alvin Kamara in the fantasy finals… knowing you still got a half left #RIP ⚰️

Field Yates @FieldYates

Congratulations to everyone starting Alvin Kamara on winning their fantasy championships 🏆

Saints fans had plenty to rejoice about this Christmas, but Brees will be a point of concern with the focus slowly starting to shift to the playoffs.

The 41-year-old is starting to show his age, and it could become far more costly when Kamara isn’t having a day for the history books.

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

Lot of underthrown balls. Yikes. Getting old sucks

Mina Kimes @minakimes

every Brees deep ball hangs in the air long enough for a full Friday Night Lights montage

Maybe Brees has just enough left for one more Super Bowl run to end his career on a high note.

Vikings Left to Pick up the Pieces

The Vikings continued to hang around until the fourth quarter. Irv Smith Jr.’s four-yard touchdown reception with 22 seconds left in the third quarter made it a four-point game, 31-27. A one-yard touchdown grab by Adam Thielen came far too late (2:15 remaining) to make a difference.

Minnesota’s inability to string together any stops on defense was too much to bear in the final frame.

Ben Goessling @GoesslingStrib

Alvin Kamara won’t tie a NFL record with his sixth rushing TD, but Taysom Hill’s TD is effectively the dagger on the #Vikings’ season. They’ve allowed 459 rushing yards in the past two weeks.

Danny Kelly @DannyBKelly

i honestly can’t believe how bad the vikings are at tackling. wouldn’t be surprised if kamara has 20 broken tackles in this game

Peter Bukowski @Peter_Bukowski

You’ll never believe this, but letting half your defense walk in free agency and replacing them with rookies isn’t a great strategy for immediate success.

As a result, a pretty good performance by Kirk Cousins got wasted. Cousins avoided any critical mistakes while consistently finding Thielen and Justin Jefferson.

NFL @NFL

‘Tis the season for touchdowns. 🎄🏈

@swervinirvin_ gets six for the @Vikings! #Skol

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NFL @NFL

[email protected]_ gets a second helping! @Vikings #Skol

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The planning is probably already underway, but Minnesota’s front office should start looking ahead to 2021 with a losing record set in stone.

Cousins was supposed to be the last piece to bring a championship-caliber roster to completion. Instead, the Vikings find themselves even further back from that level. Nobody who watched this team all season will be too surprised with how poorly Friday played out.

Even with the assumption a young defense should improve with more experience, there will almost certainly be big offseason changes in response to this year.

What’s Next?

The Saints and Vikings both wrap up their season Jan. 3, with kickoff for their respective games scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. New Orleans takes on the Carolina Panthers, while Minnesota meets the Detroit Lions.

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