The New England Patriots will play against several of the NFL's most talented running backs during the 2021 season, but few, if any, will pose more problems for Bill Belichick's defense than New Orleans Saints star Alvin Kamara.
Kamara does it all. He tallied 1,500 total yards in three of his first four seasons with the Saints. The 2016 third-round pick also finds the end zone with impressive consistency, totaling 58 career touchdowns (43 rushing, 15 receiving) entering 2021, which is 14.5 scores per year. You also won't find many running backs who catch passes as often as Kamara, who's tallied 81 or more receptions in all four years of his career.
The Patriots know the kind of challenge they face Sunday when the Saints come to Gillette Stadium for a pivotal Week 3 matchup.
In fact, Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower gave Kamara some pretty high praise at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
The Patriots spent a lot of money in free agency over the offseason to improve a run defense that struggled most of 2020. Through two weeks in 2021, substantial improvements have yet to be seen.
New England has allowed 113 rushing yards per game and 4.2 yards per attempt in two games. The New York Jets, despite losing to the Patriots 25-6 in Week 2, ran for 152 yards on 31 carries (4.9 per rush).
Kamara struggled last week against the Carolina Panthers. He ran for only five yards on eight carries as the Saints lost 26-7.
The Patriots should expect a much better Kamara on Sunday afternoon, and how well they defend him likely will be a pivotal factor in the outcome.