Alvin Kamara, man or ghost? We’ve watched the film and we’re still not sure. Whatever he is, he’s scaring the daylights out of opposing defenses.
After a two-week period that had Drew Brees with two interceptions and Mark Ingram with two fumbles, the NFL was alert to the question “what would Ingram do?” In a game that could potentially bring the New Orleans Saints to a six-game win streak, would Ingram recover? Be benched? Continue to struggle? After Week 9, as the Saints hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the attention isn’t on Ingram. It’s on Alvin Kamara! Turns out, the man is a ghost!
The ghost in stories hides and watches and walks through walls and then comes from where you least expect it to reveal our worst fears. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the guy saying “boo” was Alvin Kamara.
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Kamara proved he is not invulnerable with a fumble for a loss in the second quarter. Not invulnerable, but definitely not negatively impacted by a fumble. While the crowd is watching Ingram for the fumble, it was Kamara who blinked first.
But he was already yards ahead of Ingram in the run game at the time of the loss. And the Saints were in a cushy place thanks to the work of Brees’ offense that moved the Saints to strike first on a Lutz field goal.
Ingram had his share of carries and he did his work as he moved short to mid range yardage throughout the game. But Kamara’s carries were more productive, taking the ball longer and deeper on both receptions and carries. Illuminating the differences between these two backs and their reliance upon each other for the complete game.
Here’s what a ghost does: it watches, waits, walks through walls to make our worst fears appear.
Kamara can wait. Kamara can see the block. Kamara can capitalize on his patience. And Kamara can walk through walls. All ghost behavior.
His first touchdown came in the second quarter where he evaded blockers after a short pass from Brees. Three times he seemed to be going down as his left hand dropped to the turf. But he regained momentum and ran the ball, then walked in the for a touchdown in moves (plural) that shocked defenders.
Who didn’t think Kamara was going down?
The 2nd touchdown
His second touchdown is the scary one. Well, not for Saints fans. Brees handed the ball off to Kamara near the goal line and he seemed to part the Red Sea as he walked, WALKED!, past a wall of Tampa Bay defense. Only a ghost can walk through a wall that thick.
Make no mistake, this run game gave the offense momentum and it seems like the Brees of old is back. He hit Thomas, Coleman, Fleener, and Ginn Jr., reminding Saints fans of what power this offense can unleash. And don’t dismiss the power of Ingram to make Kamara’s game highly functional. Ingram’s power to run when the alley is open gave Tampa Bay pause.
This was a game where the Saints defense shone. This was a game where Brees controlled the Saints as if they are, again, supernatural. And this was a game where the Saints had that one-two punch on the run game. This week was Kamara. Next week may be Ingram. They’re in it together.
But Kamara–the man’s a ghost!