Latavius Murray entered his second year in New Orleans coming off his best yards per carry season since his rookie year. In 2020, he improved on it by running for more yards on the exact same amount of carries. Murray once again found himself as the second option out of the backfield behind Alvin Kamara, but that did not dissuade Murray from putting together another solid season. In fact, only Gus Edwards and Kareem Hunt had more rushing yards from the #2 position on the depth chart than Murray.
The second-year Saint got his season off to a good start, gaining at least 48 yards on the ground in three of the first four games. The stand out performance in the first half of the season definitely came in Detroit, when Murray ran 14 times for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns, helping the Saints break and early two game losing streak.
The next quarter of the season saw decent production from Murray, as he gained 137 yards on the ground on a total of 37 carries from Weeks 5-9. Murray followed this up with his best stretch of the year in Weeks 10-12. During this period, Murray gained at least 57 total yards in each game, capped off by a 124 yard 2 TD day in Denver in Week 12. This was Murray’s best game of the year, as it was his only performance of over 100 rushing yards, and his second two touchdown game of the season.
Murray’s last quarter of the season was not as productive as the other three, as he gained just 105 yards on 25 carries in his last four games of the year. This included a three game stretch in which he failed to gain at least 20 rushing yards in each game. The highlight of Murray’s late season performance was scoring on a go-ahead receiving touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15. Murray ended his season on Christmas Day against Minnesota as he was unfortunately caught up in the Covid-19 outbreak that hit the Saints running backs room, which forced him to miss the Week 17 game against the Carolina Panthers.
Murray unfortunately did not have much of an impact in the playoffs. He ran just 4 times for 9 yards against the Bears, but did manage to score a receiving TD, and was forced to miss the Divisional Round game against Tampa Bay with a quad injury.
Latavius Murray did not seem to be effected by the supposed 30-year old cliff some running backs fall off of. He improved his rushing total from 2019, and did not show many signs of slowing down. He remains one of the best #2 backs in the NFL, and will look to improve once again heading into year three of his four year contract.
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