NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - Alvin Kamara rushed for 155 yards and six touchdowns on 22 carries in the Saints’ win over the Vikings in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Christmas Day. His six rushing touchdowns set a new franchise record and tied Ernie Nevers (1929 Chicago Cardinals) for the most in a game in NFL history.
The Saints (11-4) clinched the NFC South for a fourth-straight year with the 52-33 victory over the Vikings (6-9). With the loss, the Vikings are eliminated from making the playoffs. The Saints are currently the No. 2-seed in the NFC behind Green Bay (11-3). The Packers beat the Saints, 37-30, earlier in the season.
Kamara is also the fourth player in NFL history with six total touchdowns in a game. He’s the first since Gale Sayers (4 rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD, and 1 punt return) in 1965. His 155 rushing yards are a career-high. He now has 21 total touchdowns on the season, which is a Saints franchise record. He also has a career-high 83 catches this season.
Drew Brees was 19-of-26 for 311 yards. He threw two interceptions. It was a record-setting day for him also as he became the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 80,000 yards.
The Saints’ offense finished with a total of 583 yards, with 264 of those happening on the ground. The Saints did not punt in the game.
Former LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson, a native of St. Rose, La., had six catches for 85 yards in the defeat. He is the fourth rookie in the Super Bowl era to rack up 1,200 receiving yards.
Another Louisiana native, tight end Irv Smith Jr., who is from New Orleans and played his prep ball at Brother Martin, had six catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns. His father played for the Saints from 1993-1997.
Former LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander went down with an injury in the game and it was later reported he suffered a torn Achilles.
Kamara got going early, gashing the Viking defense for a 40-yard touchdown to cap a 6-play, 75-yard opening drive to put Saints up 7-0 with 12:11 remaining in the first quarter.
The Vikings responded to tie it, 7-7, on a 15-yard touchdown run by Dalvin Cook.
Kamara scored his second rushing touchdown of the day on a 1-yard run to put the Saints back up, 14-7.
Wil Lutz made a 30-yard field goal early in the second quarter to extend the lead to 17-7.
Later, Mike Boone dove across the goal line for a 4-yard touchdown run for the Vikings to cut the Saints’ lead to 17-14 with 10:14 to go in the half.
Then, Brees was intercepted in the red zone by Harrison Hand. It was Brees’ fifth interception of the season.
Kamara then scored his third touchdown on a 5-yard run to put the Saints up 24-14 with 38 seconds before halftime.
In the third quarter, Brees threw his second interception on a tipped pass.
Three plays later, Kirk Cousins threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Smith. The point-after try was no good to make it 24-20 with 9:41 to go in the third quarter.
Kamara then ran for a 6-yard touchdown to put the Saints up, 31-20, with 4:42 remaining in the third quarter.
Cousins then found Smith again for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 31-27 with 22 seconds left in the third. It was set up by penalties on Saints’ secondary, including a pass interference in the end zone.
Kamara then scored his fifth rushing touchdown of the day on a 7-yard run to make it 38-27 in the fourth quarter.
Kamara was given a breather and Taysom Hill found the end zone from 1-yard out to make it 45-27.
Adam Thielen then caught a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it 45-33 with 2:10 to go. The two-point try was no good.
Kamara finished out his record day with a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Saints up for good, 52-33, with 1:50 remaining in the game.
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