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Alvin Kamara relentless consistency keeps New Orleans Saints franchise records within grasp

'I don't keep track. I'm just trying to keep going, man, and trying to keep playing'

Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the Detroit Lions in Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season.
Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the Detroit Lions in Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season.

Alvin Kamara initially didn't know why a fuss was being made over him scoring a touchdown, something he previously had done 76 times in his seven-year career.

So when he busted his way in from the 1-yard line in the third quarter against the Lions for what appeared to be his second rushing touchdown of the day Sunday in the Caesars Superdome, he was a little surprised by the reaction from his teammates.

"When I scored that touchdown, everybody was like, 'Congrats, congrats,'" he said Wednesday, smiling. "I was like, 'Damn, I ain't scored in that long?'"

"But then I realized, 'Oh, that was the touchdown tie or the record or one of them.'"

It was for the record, but it was for naught because replay deemed Kamara down at the 1-yard line, and Taysom Hill came in the next play to score

Fortunately for Saints fans opportunity knocked again for Kamara in the fourth quarter, and his 1-yard touchdown run with 7:35 left was the franchise-record 53rd rushing touchdown of his career. It raised to three the number of franchise records Kamara now owns – rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns (77) and yards from scrimmage (9,809 – 5,643 rushing and 4,166 receiving), accomplished in 97 games.

"It's definitely cool," he said. "I don't really keep track of them, so when it happens, it's like…I don't keep track. I'm just trying to keep going, man, and trying to keep playing.

"But it does feel good, it's cool, because all my friends and my family, they're like, 'Damn, look at this, look at this.' And I'm like, all right, cool, at least they're super hyped up about it. I'm living in it."

And, apparently, living well. Despite missing the first three games of the season due to a league suspension, Kamara leads the Saints in rushing (508 yards), is second in receptions (60, for 413 yards) and tied for the lead in touchdowns with five. He's averaging 21.4 touches for 102.3 yards per game, which aligns with his career numbers.

In 2017, it was 12.6 touches per game for 97 yards; in '18, 18.3 touches for 106 yards; in '19, 18 for 95; in '20, 18 for 112; in '21, 22 for 103; and last year, 19 for 92.5. In four of seven seasons, he has scored at least nine touchdowns (including a franchise-record 21 in 2020) and he never has totaled less than four in a season.

"You can track it, it ain't going nowhere. It's not going anywhere," Kamara said. "I think – and I was talking to my brother about it – he was like, it's the same (production) every year. And I'm like, the touchdowns have been down, but everything else is there.

"In the weight room with Doc (Dr. Matt Rhea, Saints director of Sports Science), I'm tracking all the stuff that produces what's happening on the field. My power, my speed, everything, it's getting better. There's no drop off or anything. It's a lot of hard work, consistency and mind-set."

It's a mind-set that could lead him to yet another franchise record.

Mark Ingram II is the Saints' all-time leading rusher, with 6,500 yards, and Deuce McAllister is second with 6,096. Kamara is 454 yards from surpassing McAllister, and 858 from topping Ingram, his dear friend whose rushing touchdown record he surpassed Sunday.

"I don't even know what (the rushing record) is. I don't know what I'm at," Kamara said, before being informed of the numbers. "I can keep doing it, probably until I get bored with it. When I get bored with it, then I'll be done with it.

"I do have love for it and I feel like I've still got years on my legs and I still love being in the locker room, I still love competing. So as long as that's there, as long as that fire is there, I'm in here. I don't feel it dwindling down yet."

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