Saints running back Alvin Kamara doesn’t look like one of those dense orbs of muscle and tendon that you expect to dish out a great deal of harm to anyone who tries to tackle him. You look at a human medicine ball like LeGarrette Blount, each of whose limbs appear to weigh 200 pounds, and you naturally expect him to play in a state of constant forward rumble. And yet Kamara, who cuts a much more lithe figure on the field, never seems to meet a tackle he can’t break.
We’ve marveled at the violence with which Kamara meets defenders before, and yesterday’s game against the Giants provided another example of his power. The GIF at the top of page shows Kamara scoring his second touchdown of the game, on a play that required him to eat a clean shot in the hole, and then somehow contort his body in a way that allowed him to get the ball over the goal line. The distance he sends Curtis Riley stumbling is certainly impressive, but the real show of strength is in Kamara’s ability to almost instantly stop his body from going backwards—which, again, it was doing because a NFL defensive back had just landed a shot against him—and then plant one foot into the ground and wrench his torso back towards the end zone with enough force to get over the line. Try to imagine yourself performing a similar task without your abdominal muscles exploding out of your body.
That touchdown run was the hardest hit Kamara meted out yesterday, but he spent the entire game reiterating just how impossible he is to take down. He was one of the best yards-after-contact runners in the league last season, and it was easy to see both how and why on Sunday. Watch his full highlight reel here, and notice how just about every run ends with him powering through the tackle for a few extra yards.
Kamara ran for 134 yards on just 19 carries, and caught five balls for 47 more yards. He currently leads the league in yards from scrimmage with 611, which pairs nicely with his six total touchdowns. Kamara only got 200 total touches all of last season, but he’s already almost halfway to that mark with 91 through the first four games of the season. He’ll lose some of those touches when Mark Ingram eventually returns to the lineup, but so far he’s playing like a guy the Saints can’t afford to keep off the field for long. That’s good news for everyone who likes watching great players do cool things, and terrible news for anyone who has to try and tackle him.