Kamara’s Record Day Leads Saints to Playoffs

The New Orleans Saints clinches their fourth straight NFC South title on Christmas Day on the legs of running back Alvin Kamara. The Pro Bowl selection tied an NFL record with six rushing touchdowns as the Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings 52-33.

The only other time an NFL player had six rushing touchdowns in a game was Hall of Famer Ernie Nevers for the Chicago Cardinals in 1929.

The Saints never punted in the win. Kamara ran for six touchdowns, and Taysom Hill ran in a score long after the Saints added a field goal. Drew Brees threw two interceptions before kneeling at the end of the game.

Overall, Kamara tallied 22 carries for a career-high 155 rushing yards. He has 16 touchdowns on the season, tied with Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook for the NFL lead.

Brees Passes Another Milestone

There’s not a lot left for Brees to surpass in terms of passing milestones, but he hit another on Friday. With his first completion after halftime, Brees went over the 80,000-yard mark.

He’s the first to surpass that number and needed 154 yards in the game to reach 80,000 yards. He finished the game with 311 passing yards and two interceptions and heads into the Week 17 game with 80,157 yards.

With zero touchdown passes on Friday, Brees stays on 568 career touchdown passes, five behind Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady. Brady entered Saturday’s game in Detroit with 78,457 passing yards, so he could join Brees over 80,000 yards if he plays in the 2021 season.

Saints Clinch Division

With the win, the Saints clinched the NFC South at 11-4 since they own the tiebreaker over the 9-5 Buccaneers. The Saints also put pressure on the Green Bay Packers (11-3) and the Seattle Seahawks (10-4) heading into their Sunday games.

Since they beat the Saints in September, the Packers can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win Sunday night as long as the Seahawks lose to the Los Angeles Rams earlier in the day.

The Saints are in position to clinch the No. 2 seed with a win next week but can still end up in the top spot if either the Packers lose out or if the three teams all finish with the same record. New Orleans has won at least 11 games in four straight seasons, and it has won seven division titles under head coach Sean Payton.

With the Saints clinching the division, the best Tampa Bay can do is finish as the No. 5 seed. The Buccaneers headed to Detroit on Saturday -9.5 and could clinch a playoff spot with a win.

Burrow Walking

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow posted a Christmas story on Twitter that showed him walking as he begins his injury rehab. The video is the first time Burrow has been seen publicly since his Dec. 2 surgery, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Burrow’s rookie season ended on Nov. 22 against Washington when he tore his ACL and MCL while also suffering tears to his meniscus and PCL.

The Bengals and Dr. ElAttrache expect Burrow to be ready for the start of the 2021 season. Before the injury, Burrow was the front runner for Rookie of the Year with 2,688 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 65.3% of his passes.