As Sunday’s Giants-Saints matchup showed, you can find running backs in all different sorts of ways.
You can take one at the top of the draft, as the Giants did with Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick last April. Or you can bide your time and wait, as the Saints did with Alvin Kamara, a third-round pick in 2017.
Both tailbacks were on display Sunday, and it was Kamara who wound up with the better performance — by far — in the Saints’ 33-18 win at MetLife Stadium. Kamara wound up with 19 carries for 134 yards and three touchdowns, including a 49-yarder in the fourth quarter that iced the game for the Saints. Barkley wound up with just 10 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Barkley also made six catches for 56 yards but the Giants again failed to score 20 points for the third time this season, even though they scored on their first possession, a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Sterling Shepard.
“Yeah, we got off to a fast start,” Barkley said. “The first series we had, we moved the ball with ease, got in the end zone. [But the Saints] played great defense. You got to give credit where credit is due. We as an offense got to find a way to be better to help the team overall.”
Barkley believes the offense is “very close” to breaking through.
“I do believe that we’re still talented,” he said. “I believe the sky is the limit. We have to continue to believe in each other, continue coming to work. Start over right now. Come in Monday, take the good, leave with the bad and continue growing.”
It was another exceptional day for Kamara, a terrific all-purpose back who had 728 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns, and 826 receiving yards and five touchdown catches last year. In addition to his 134 rushing yards, he had five catches for 47 yards.
“When we’re running the ball, we’re the best in the country,” Kamara said. “So we got behind those big offensive linemen and we were able to get some big runs off. When [coach] Sean [Payton] gets those run plays going, it gives everybody energy.”
Kamara had a spectacular run off the right side to poliah off the game.
“It was a perfect look,” he said. “O-line handled their business. Fullback Zach Line did what he had to do, got through and got a block. I could have scored that ball with my eyes closed.”