Kamara scores 6 TDs as Saints clinch NFC South
Alvin Kamara tied an NFL record with six rushing touchdowns Friday as the host New Orleans Saints clinched the NFC South title with a 52-33 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Kamara gained a career-high 155 rushing yards as he tied the touchdown record set by Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals in 1929.
The Saints (11-4) clinched their fourth consecutive division title and eliminated the Vikings (6-9) from playoff contention.
Latavius Murray added 72 yards on the ground and the Saints rushed for 264 yards. Drew Brees passed for 311 yards despite two interceptions as New Orleans finished with 583 yards of total offense with 36 first downs.
Kirk Cousins passed for 291 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings, two of the scores to tight end Irv Smith Jr.
The Saints, who never trailed in the game, led by 10 points at halftime, but their first possession of the third quarter ended with Hardy Nickerson intercepting Brees and giving the Vikings the ball at the New Orleans 18. That set up Cousins’ two-yard touchdown pass to Smith, pulling Minnesota within 24-20.
Kamara ran six yards for his fourth touchdown to push the New Orleans advantage to 31-20, but Cousins hit Smith for a 4-yard touchdown to trim the Saints’ lead back to four points at the end of the third quarter.
A 7-yard touchdown by Kamara extended the lead to 38-27 early in the fourth quarter, and Taysom Hill scored from a yard out to make it 45-27, removing doubt about the outcome. It was the only Saints touchdown scored by someone other than Kamara.
Cousins threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Adam Thielen with 2:10 remaining, but Kamara wasn’t finished and added his record-tying sixth rushing TD, from 3 yards out, with 1:50 left.
Kamara capped the first possession of the game with a 40-yard touchdown run, and added a 1-yard score in the first quarter and a 5-yard touchdown run late in the half, giving the Saints their 24-14 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media