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Miller time in New Orleans

Rookie running back comes up big versus Atlanta

Kendre Miller got my attention today. I don’t think Alvin Kamara will be back next year (given his age and contract) and Miller looks like he might be ready to be the team’s main back.

Miller had an underwhelming rookie season. He suffered a knee injury at Texas Christian a year ago, making it a surprise that the Saints selected him early in the third round. The knee prevented him from participating much in the offseason, and injuries kept him from even playing in most of their regular season games.

Miller saw meaningful playing time in only two games in the first half of the season, and he wasn’t productive in either, carrying 9 times for 34 yards at Green Bay and 12 times for 37 yards at New England. Prior to Sunday, he hadn’t played at all since early November.

But with Kamara having an ankle injury, they dusted him off on Sunday, using him in combination with Jamaal Williams. And Miller against the Falcons came up big, carrying 13 times for 73 yards. That’s 5.6 yards per carry, making it arguably the team’s best running of the season. Kamara ran for more yards only once all year, and nobody else on this team has had a game averaging more than 5 yards per carry.

If we’re in a dynasty league, I think Miller right now looks like the No. 1 running back in New Orleans. It’s certainly not Jamaal Williams; he simply doesn’t have enough juice. I imagine the Saints will pick up another back in the offseason, but I think Miller for now looks like their top guy.

Below see a list of all games in which a New Orleans running back carried the ball at least 5 times.

NEW ORLEANS BACKS WITH 5-PLUS ATTEMPTS
PlayerOppNoYdsAvgLgTD
A.Kamaraat N.E.22803.6101
K.MillerAtl.13735.6181
A.Kamaraat Atl.15694.6160
A.Kamaraat Hou.19683.6130
A.KamaraNYG16664.1150
A.KamaraJac.17623.6170
A.Kamaraat Ind.17593.516t1
J.Williamsat T.B.19583.1170
A.KamaraCar.12564.79t1
A.KamaraDet.14513.6162
A.KamaraT.B.11514.6130
A.Kamaraat T.B.10454.5130
J.WilliamsTen.18452.5110
J.WilliamsCar.11433.9120
A.Kamaraat Min.9424.790
• K.Millerat N.E.12373.180
T.Jonesat Car.12342.862
• K.Millerat G.B.9343.8100
T.Jonesat G.B.8313.9190
J.Williamsat Ind.6305.0100
J.Williamsat Car.9293.270
J.WilliamsAtl.14261.981
A.KamaraChi.9262.9130
J.WilliamsNYG8243.080
A.Kamaraat LAR9192.150
J.WilliamsJac.5142.840
J.WilliamsDet.5102.040

—Ian Allan

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