On Sunday against the Panthers, the Saints did not have an active running back, and still had a lot of success.
That speaks to the replaceability of the position, but I don’t want to discount how the team’s running backs performed this season.
It’s tough to justify paying a player at a replaceable position $75 million, but there is no doubt in my mind that Alvin Kamara is the most valuable running back in the NFL. Many will point to his six-touchdown performance against the Vikings, but the 25-year-old was as consistent as it gets.
Overall, he averaged five rushing yards/attempt, had a career-high 1688 yards from scrimmage, and also had 21 total touchdowns. Remember, that is with him missing a game and not being a major part of the offense with Hill at quarterback.
There may be a few better runners of the football than Kamara, yet he brings so much to the table (he’s essentially a receiver playing running back), and here’s hoping he’s back healthy for the team’s first playoff game.
Plus, don’t forgot about Latavius Murray! The 30-year-old complements Kamara perfect as an inside gap runner. His 4.5 rushing yards/attempt was the best it has been since his rookie season, and he chipped in 832 yards/scrimmage.
His proficiency on short-yardage situations will be missed should New Orleans have to cut ties with him.
Those are the team’s premier running backs, yet Ty Montgomery also deserves mention here. Given his ability to play wide receiver and running back, he was always an intriguing signing due to his versatility, and that was required in Week 17 with the team’s stable of running backs out due to COVID-19 concerns.
Well, he certainly made good on his opportunity with 105 rushing yards on 18 attempts, while he has also lined up as a slot receiver at times due to the team’s lack of receiver depth.
Overall Running back Grade: A-