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Alvin Kamara first since Gale Sayers in 1965 to score 6 TDs as Saints clinch NFC South with win vs. Vikings

Frank Schwab
·4-min read

If you have Alvin Kamara on your fantasy team and are in the title game, you didn’t expect an NFL record-setting day to start Week 16.

Kamara scored six touchdowns on Sunday against Minnesota, which hadn’t been done in the NFL in 55 years and had been done only three times. He is the first player since 1929 to have six rushing touchdowns in a game, and only the second player to pull that off. Kamara’s sixth touchdown came with 1:50 left.

Kamara went off against the Vikings in a 52-33 win that clinched an NFC South championship for the Saints. It was the most points allowed by the Vikings since giving up 56 to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1963. Kamara was already having an enormous day by halftime: 96 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. In the second half he became the first player in 17 years to reach five touchdowns in a game. Tying a long-standing record was in reach, and Kamara punched one in late in the game to make history.

Had Sean Payton not strangely wanted to get Taysom Hill a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, Kamara could have had seven.

Alvin Kamara makes history with six TDs

Only three players had six touchdowns in an NFL game in 101 seasons, before Friday. Ernie Nevers scored six touchdowns for the 1929 Chicago Cardinals, Dub Jones scored six TDs for the Cleveland Browns in 1951 and Gale Sayers scored six for the Chicago Bears in 1965. Nobody had scored six since Sayers. Nevers was the only one with six rushing touchdowns in a game, before Kamara.

It looked like a weird decision by Payton would keep Kamara from tying the record.

The Saints drove inside the 10-yard line and had third-and-goal at the 1-yard line with a little more than four minutes left. The Saints called timeout. It seemed they’d get Kamara a shot for his sixth. But Kamara was kept on the bench as Hill ran for the easy touchdown. Given the Vikings’ problems on defense, Kamara was very likely to score. It’s curious why Payton didn’t give him a shot. Kamara wasn’t worried.

“Nah, nah, I wasn’t worried about it,” Kamara told Fox’s Erin Andrews after the game. “Taysom was like, ‘My bad.’ I’m like, ‘Nah, it’s all good, we spread the wealth.’”

Kamara’s shot at the record seemed to have passed, but the Saints had another chance late. Drew Brees hit Adam Trautman for a 41-yard gain down to Minnesota’s 3-yard line at the two-minute warning. Kamara got the first-down handoff after that, and barely got over the goal line for some history.

Nobody had even scored five touchdowns in a game since Clinton Portis for the Denver Broncos in 2003. Six in a game hadn’t been done since before the first Super Bowl was played. We’ll remember Kamara’s day for a long time.

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) had three first-half touchdowns against the Vikings. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) had three first-half touchdowns against the Vikings. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

Kamara has a huge day

Kamara’s big performance is a great sign as the Saints enter the playoffs, looking to erase some recent postseason heartbreak and make a deep run.

Kamara got the scoring going with a 40-yard touchdown run. He scored twice more before the end of the half. That tied his career high before halftime. Kamara also set a career high in rushing yards with 155.

Kamara signed a five-year, $75 million contract extension before this season. He is one of the most explosive, electrifying backs in football. Kamara has the ability to do it all and showed it Friday. The Saints had questions about Brees after he came back from injury last week and struggled — Brees looked much better against the Vikings with 311 yards — but New Orleans always knows it has Kamara to carry the offense.

And for fantasy players going for a championship, Kamara’s big performance was a nice gift. He finished with 54.7 fantasy points, the highest total by any player this season. Even if you didn’t have anything on the line Friday, you got to see some NFL history on Christmas.

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