NEW ORLEANS — Saints rookie sensation Alvin Kamara took the brunt of a hard collision near the goal line with Carolina linebacker Shaq Thompson, who is 2 inches taller and 15 pounds heavier than the runner he was trying to prevent from scoring on fourth down.

Kamara bounced backward but remained upright, then slithered out of defensive end Wes Horton’s ankle grab and dived under linebacker Luke Kuechly to find the end zone.

“That was just: I’ve got to get in there by any means,” Kamara said. “I got hit and got it on in.”

Kamara added a second tackle-shedding touchdown from 20 yards, New Orleans took advantage of a couple Carolina special teams gaffes, and the Saints reclaimed sole possession of first place in the NFC South with a 31-21 victory over the Panthers on Sunday.

Kamara finished with 126 yards from scrimmage, capping his day with a serpentine, 22-yard gain on a third-and-10 screen pass at the 2-minute warning. The first down allowed New Orleans to run out the clock.

“He’s a monster,” fellow Saints running back Mark Ingram said. “He’s always balling, doing his thing, running and catching. He’s definitely the rookie of the year. He’s savage. Cold-blooded.”

Carolina entered the game ranked second defensively overall and third against the run, allowing 83.2 yards per game. The Saints rushed for 148 yards, with Ingram gaining 85, highlighted by a 72-yard run that set up his 3-yard TD.

Drew Brees passed for 269 yards, including a 10-yard TD to Michael Thomas a few plays after Panthers punter Michael Palardy lost his handle on the ball as he was about the kick it away. Palardy aborted the punt and threw incomplete, giving New Orleans the ball on the Carolina 31.

In the fourth quarter, a fumble by Panthers punt returner Kaelin Clay near midfield set up Wil Lutz’s 31-yard field goal to give New Orleans a 31-14 lead.

SEAHAWKS 24, EAGLES 10: Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, the last a 15-yard strike to J.D. McKissic with 7:29 left, and Seattle (8-4) ended a nine-game winning streak for visiting Philadelphia (10-2).

CHARGERS 19, BROWNS 10: Philip Rivers passed for 344 yards and hit Keenan Allen for a touchdown, and the surging Chargers (6-6) moved into a tie for first place in the AFC West with a victory over visiting Cleveland (0-12).

Allen had 10 catches for 105 yards in his third straight big game.

RAIDERS 24, GIANTS 17: Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch had a 51-yard touchdown run and got his first 100-yard rushing game since coming out of retirement, in visiting New York’s first game without Eli Manning starting in 13 years.

Oakland (6-6) overcame the absences of starting receivers Michael Crabtree (suspension) and Amari Cooper (injury) to move into a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West with Kansas City and the Chargers.

Geno Smith lost two fumbles before throwing a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter for the Giants (2-10).

JETS 38, CHIEFS 31: Josh McCown scored on a 1-yard sneak with 2:15 left, lifting the Jets (5-7) over visiting Kansas City (6-6).

McCown finished with 331 yards passing and a touchdown to Matt Forte, and ran for two scores.

RAMS 32, CARDINALS 16: Jared Goff passed for two touchdowns, Los Angeles (9-3) took advantage of two early interceptions thrown by Blaine Gabbert, and the Rams solidified their grip on first place in the NFC West with a win over the Cardinals (5-7) in Glendale, Arizona.

PACKERS 26, BUCCANEERS 20: Aaron Jones’ 20-yard touchdown run on his only carry, with 5:59 left in overtime, gave Green Bay (6-6) a win over visiting Tampa Bay (4-8).

TITANS 24, TEXANS 13: LeShaun Sims intercepted a pass intended for DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone with 1:02 left, and Tennessee (8-4) beat visiting Houston (4-8) to stay tied with Jacksonville atop the AFC South.

JAGUARS 30, COLTS 10: Blake Bortles threw two touchdown passes, Leonard Fournette scored for the first time in six weeks and Jacksonville (8-4) beat visiting Indianapolis (3-9).

RAVENS 44, LIONS 20: Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns, and Baltimore (7-5) survived a strong comeback bid by Matthew Stafford and the visiting Lions (6-6).

DOLPHINS 35, BRONCOS 9: Xavien Howard’s 30-yard interception return for a touchdown highlighted a dominating defensive effort by Miami (5-7), which beat visiting Denver (3-9) to snap a five-game losing streak.