Falcons Daily: Inside the improvement of Atlanta’s run game

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Yeah, the Falcons’ running back room looks a lot different heading into Week 5 of the season than it did when the season started. If this is August and we’re saying this, maybe there’s some apprehension. But it’s not August. It’s October, and the depth the Falcons feel they’ve developed at the position is taking center stage.

As training camp drew to a close, the running game depended on the success of veterans like Cordarrelle Patterson and Damien Williams. Tyler Allgeier, the Falcons’ rookie running back, was waiting in the wings. He was even inactive against the Saints in Week 1. Then there was Caleb Huntley, a player on the Falcons’ practice squad who had just been promoted to the active roster before Sunday’s game against the Browns.

Both young and with limited NFL experience, the original plan was for Williams and Patterson to be the workhorses in the running game. But then Williams injured his rib in the first game of the season and was later placed on IR. Also, after the best rushing performance of his career, Patterson was placed on IR earlier this week after injuring his knee.

However, when Patterson was retained Sunday against the Browns, the Falcons didn’t miss a beat with Allgeier and Huntley leading the way. They thrived on a 202-yard rushing performance.

Through four games of 2022, the Falcons reached triple figures in the running game three times (and you can assume they didn’t against the Rams because they were playing from behind and the clock wasn’t on their side). For some teams, this is not uncommon. For Atlanta, an organization that has struggled to run the ball consistently for years, it was. (Emphasis on “was”).

At the end of 2021, the Falcons had one of the worst collective running performances in the league. They ranked 31st (of 32 teams) in total rushing yards and 30th in average yards per carry. They ranked last in explosive rushes over 20 yards and had the fewest rushing first downs when comparing that number to other teams in the league.

In a word, the Falcons’ running game left a lot to be desired, and it wasn’t the running game Arthur Smith imagined this organization would have for long.

Four games into the 2022 season, the Falcons’ running game is day and night from where it was last year.

Comparing the stats, the Falcons are now the fourth most productive running team in the league. They rank sixth on the leaderboard in average yards per carry and have the fourth-most rushing touchdowns. They have already surpassed last year’s total of two runs of more than 20 yards. They currently have three to four games. Atlanta also ranks in the top five in rushing first downs.

In a word, the Falcons’ running game has evolved.

Smith said Wednesday that he saw glimpses of the team that the Falcons could be running the ball at certain times last year. He recalled the win in Jacksonville, the first part of Game 2 against Tampa Bay at home and then facing Carolina on the road. Those games are the three games that Smith said showed progress.

So, he was asked: What changed for the Falcons from 2021 to 2022? Is there something that you would attribute as the catalyst for that change?

For starters, Smith said the Falcons’ offensive operation as a whole has changed a bit since last year.

“There’s a lot of things we’ve changed behind the scenes offensively,” Smith said. “We have different personnel, guys that needed to develop and we’re very happy with the guys that were here last year.”

Staffing is an important factor, but Smith said the real catalyst for change in accelerated production is much more mundane than that.

“The most obvious thing is probably not the answer you’re looking for because it’s consistency,” Smith said, “and work habits.”

For the Falcons in 2022, there has been an obvious commitment to becoming a more physical team. That commitment is most obviously seen in the way this offense (particularly this offensive line) is operating in the running game.

On Monday, Jake Matthews recalled a specific series against the Browns in which the Falcons grounded the ball 10 times in a 10-play drive. Matthews, who has been with the Falcons since 2014, said he doesn’t think he’s ever been a part of such a unit.

“We’re very proud of that,” Matthews said of the offensive line’s role.

For the Falcons, they’re out to show they can run the ball consistently. So far, that has been the case.

After the win against the Browns, Smith said what strikes him most about the improvements in the running game is that the Falcons’ plan for running the ball is no secret, and yet they’re performing quite well. in the race.

“We’re not sneaking up on anybody. People know we want to run football,” Smith said Sunday. “That’s what gets you fired up, and it’s not going to be like that every week. We’re going to have a challenge. We know how competitive it is. But when you can run the ball, when they know you’re going to run it, that says a lot about your guys. “.

It’s something the Falcons want to keep doing at the rate they started 2022.

Atlanta Falcons players warm up before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons players warm up before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

General view during the anthem before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders perform during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Offensive huddle during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo #7 kicks a field goal against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier #25 runs during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons attempt to block a field goal against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dee Alford #37 intercepts a pass during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, October 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons )

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

General view of fans during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders perform before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Cheerleaders perform during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons kicker Bradley Pinion #13 warms up before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons safety Richie Grant #27 breaks up a pass against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dee Alford #37 defends against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom #63 and tackle Kaleb McGary #76’s block against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, October 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota #1 throws a pass against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons running back Caleb Huntley #42 celebrates after a touchdown during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, October 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/ Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dee Alford #37 celebrates with teammates after an interception during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, October 2, 2022. ( Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons players warm up before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

General view from the roof after the win against the Cleveland Browns at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Hess/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Who has the most touchdowns in NFL history?

touchdown leaders
RKPLAYERSD
1jerry rice208
twoemmit smith175
3The Dainian Tomlinson162

Who has the most touchdowns in NFL QB history? Tom Brady holds the record for most touchdown passes with 633 and most playoff touchdown passes with 86. Read also : Jacksonville Jaguars Cheerleaders Rope Swing Over EverBank Field

  • 1 Leaders in career touchdown passes in the regular season.
  • 2 Historical leaders in touchdown passes.
  • 4 notes.
  • 5 References.

Who has the most touchdowns in NFL team history? The Green Bay Packers have scored the most total touchdowns per team, with 3,571 touchdowns.

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Which NFL team holds the most records?

Combining regular season and playoff win-loss records, the Bears have the distinction for the most games played (1,472), while the Packers have recorded the most wins (818) and percentage of highest wins (. 573), with an 818-606–38 record (1,462 games played) through the end of Super Bowl LVI. See the article : How big a jump will Jalen Hurts make in 2022? | Birds People.

What is the best record in NFL history? The 2007 New England Patriots were the first NFL team to post a perfect 16-0 regular season record, and they seemed destined to become the greatest team of all time until their shock loss in Super Bowl XLII.

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Ravens mascots Edgar and Allan will fill in for the injured Poe…

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