NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Saints quarterback Drew Brees isn't ready to ask rookie running back Alvin Kamara to stop trying to hurdle defenders.
He has but one request.
"Please land on your feet and not your head," Brees said.
Kamara landed head-first when he tried to soar over a Carolina Panthers tackler on Sunday — but only after a game-sealing 22-yard gain on a third-and-10 play in the final minutes. He wound up with a cut on his lip, which seemed like a small price to pay for his latest virtuoso performance as a runner and receiver.
He finished with 126 yards from scrimmage — 60 rushing and 66 receiving — and scored a pair of tackle-shedding touchdowns to help the Saints beat the Panthers 31-21 and take command of the NFC South Division.
With four games to play, Kamara already has had a rookie campaign like few others in NFL history. He is one of only three rookies to eclipse 600 yards rushing and 600 yards receiving, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Charley Taylor and Billy Sims. His 11 TDs put him in range of surpassing the Saints rookie record of 13 set by George Rogers back in 1981.
"It's been fun," Kamara said of his surreal first year as a pro. "You want it to keep going. You don't want it to end."
If Kamara keeps it up, the Saints season will extend into the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Kamara and the Saints travel to east on Thursday to take on their NFC South rival, the Atlanta Falcons.