All things considered, the Saints are sitting pretty at 6-2 on top of the NFC South at the midpoint of their season. After finding themselves 1-2 after a good start to their season, New Orleans started improving each week, overcoming many obstacles in the process. Throughout their five-game winning streak and first half of the season, there have been some players that have stood out more than others. We got the Saints News Network team together to discuss who they'd hand the MVP to right now.
Kyle T. Mosley
Alvin Kamara, by a long shot, was the Saints' first-half MVP for 2020. If it were not for his on-field production and tremendous talent, the Saints could easily be at .500 or below.
I don't see any other choice here but Alvin Kamara as the Saints midseason MVP. I predicted before the season began that Kamara would be just the fourth player to have over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. At midseason, he is certainly on that pace. Kamara has 471 rushing yards and 565 receiving yards on 60 receptions while scoring 8 touchdowns.
The receiving numbers are not only among the league leaders currently, but has him on pace to shatter NFL records for a running back. What is most impressive to me is that he's had to almost single-handedly carry the offense at times because of injuries to Michael Thomas, Jared Cook, and the COVID-19 absence of Emmanuel Sanders. Despite the extra defensive attention, he's still managed to lead the NFL in total yards. Kamara has picked up 54 of the team’s 193 first downs, 28% of their offensive output. At the very least, he's in the midseason conversation for NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
It has not been all sunshine and rainbows for the Saints this season. Though it may feel like a distant memory, New Orleans started the season 1-2 prior to their five-game win streak. Through both the good and bad there has been one constant force that has kept the Saints in every ball game – Alvin Kamara.
The league’s leader in scrimmage yards, yards are the catch and fantasy points has been nothing short of incredible for the black and gold this season posting 471 rushing yards, 565 receiving yards and 8 total TDs in nine weeks. Kamara’s ability to produce the big play in either the run or pass game as the team’s number one option throughout the season has his name in the Offensive Player of the Year discussion and could see him eclipse the 1,000/1,000 mark.
At the end of the day, many people saw AK having a bounce back year in 2020 after playing most of 2019 through injuries but his play has certainly passed most people’s expectations. Earlier this year I predicted Kamara would become the NFL’s fourth ever player to reach 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season, however even then I thought it was a stretch… It doesn’t look that way now and the Saints hope his stellar play continues as they march on to the home stretch of the season.
While Alvin Kamara is likely the consensus here, I'd throw up Drew Brees in the conversation. He hasn't totally set the world on fire with his stats, but he's also a full game behind a lot of the competition. Brees has been efficient, no matter what type of air yards analytics exist. He's 211-of-285 (74 percent completion) for 2,120 yards, tossing for 17 touchdowns and only throwing three picks. His 110.3 rating is currently 4th in the NFL behind Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes. Brees has been sacked 10 times, which is one of the lowest amounts among the top tier of quarterbacks.
Brees is a player that has been under scrutiny for years, and he's also been a huge part of why the Saints have put together this winning streak and are in the boat they are in. The clear choice is Kamara, but perhaps an argument is to be made for co-MVPs for Sean Payton's crew through the first half of their season.