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How does the Saints’ rush attack stack up against the Falcons’ run defense?

With the Saints Week 1 matchup just days away, how does their rushing attack look compared to the Falcons’ rush defense?

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons, the game to open the 2022 season for both teams and kickoff intra-divisional play for the NFC South. With this, we get to see how Alvin Kamara can handle the Falcons' front 7, as well as Mark Ingram. In this article, I will be covering how Kamara has fared in previous games against Atlanta, and what we should expect from this matchup to start off the year. So, without further ado, let’s start off with his previous appearances:

Alvin Kamara vs Atlanta Falcons history

As amazing as Alvin Kamara is both on the ground and in the receiving game, he has not necessarily torched the Falcons outside a few games. In 3 of his 10 contests against the Falcons, he has broken the 100 scrimmage yards mark and has only scored 3 touchdowns total in those 10 matchups, including both receiving and rushing (all 3 were rushing). However, when he does have 100+ scrimmage yards against Atlanta, he has had amazing performances in doing so.

In the Saints' most recent matchup with Atlanta, Kamara had 30 rushing attempts for 146 yards (4.9 YPC) and 2 receptions for 16 yards as well. In his other two games breaking 100 scrimmage yards, he had one in 2021 (13 rush attempts for 50 yards and a touchdown, as well as 4 receptions for 54 yards) and one in 2018 (16 rushes for 66 yards as well as 15 receptions for 124 yards). If his career is anything to go by, he could have anywhere from a relatively down game up to a legendary performance.

How do the Saints’ RBs stack up against the Falcons' front 7

The Falcons front 7 typically is solid but has not been phenomenal the last few years, giving up the 6th most rushing yards in the league last season, the 6th most rushing touchdowns, and the 3rd most first downs via the rush. The Saints rushing offense meanwhile were about middle of the pack or below in rushing offense, as they were 15th in rushing yards, 24th in rushing touchdowns, and 29th in yards per carry. It is also worth noting however that Alvin Kamara did only start 10 games last year and played in 13.

The one main factor that should give the Saints the edge in this matchup is the Falcons placing linebacker Deion Jones on IR to start the season. Jones is easily the best linebacker on the Atlanta defense and plays relatively well against the run. Grady Jarrett will be the key to this matchup, as he is the one truly solidified player on the Falcons' defense against the rush, due to his 305-pound frame and strong playstyle. Adetokunbo Ogundeji will also be worth watching out for at the DT spot, as he is effective at stopping the run, with 5 tackles for loss last season. Overall, the Saints should have the edge in this matchup rushing-wise, as if Kamara can get past the immediate tackling front, he should be gone pretty quickly provided he can get to the edge, with Mark Ingram providing a nice north-to-south compliment to Kamara when needed.

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