The Saints are coming off a season that ended in disappointment, but had plenty of good accomplishments to call out. We have been going through each position to assess some grades for New Orleans from the 2020 season. The offensive series started on Sunday, as we looked at the quarterbacks. Today's focus is on the running back group, who were pretty exceptional.
We couldn't look at the rushing stats without adding Taysom Hill, something that we didn't necessarily point out in the quarterback grading. He was a huge part of the team's ground game, which ranked 6th-best in the league at 141.6 yards/game. That's a huge credit to the guys up front and Michael Burton.
Alvin Kamara reached career highs in rushing yards and receptions in 2020, delivering a performance reminiscent of his first several seasons after having a down 2019. Latavius Murray bested his first season with the Saints by 19 rushing yards with the same amount of carries in one less game. Ty Montgomery didn't doo too much, but really made his mark in the regular season finale against the Panthers with the Saints running back room out of the picture due to COVID-19 protocols and tracing.
Kamara was active in the receiving department, much like he has been since joining the Saints. The highlight of his catches was in the game against Green Bay where he broke a plethora of Packers tackles to get into the end zone from 52 yards out. Murray wasn't as active in the receiving department, but proved to be a key asset in blitz pickups and being a last-ditch effort on some memorable touchdowns. Giving your skill players a chance to do things with the football in space is something New Orleans is known for, and they've had some greats do it before Kamara and Murray.
Final Grade: A-
It's difficult to call it a perfect performance out of the running back group, but they had a stellar season overall. That's mainly due to what Alvin Kamara did in a killer comeback season. Latavius Murray is a real compliment to him, and it's a shame that he couldn't have been in the playoff game against the Bucs due to injury. Having him and Taysom Hill could have really helped the offense out. Regardless, this looks to be a strong-suit for New Orleans going into the new season despite who takes snaps under center.