2018 Falcons Year in Review: Runningbacks

Falcons
Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton/UPI

The 26th ranked Falcons running offense was one of the worst in the league.

Plagued by injuries to RBs and O-Line men this group could never get any rhythm. Devonta Freeman who is our leading rusher, was injured most the season. Tevin Coleman ended up going out late in the season and so did Ish Smith. Devonta Freeman was injured the first game against the Eagles with a knee injury and had to sit out the next couple games.

Tevin Coleman who served as the backup was playing in a contract year so we expected a lot from him. But Tevin didn’t show much with just 800 yards and 4 TD for the season. In his first game starting against the Panthers, Tevin looked good getting 100 yards but the next 2 games barely rushed for 50.

Devonta came back Week 5 against the Steelers but it was shown that it was too early and he re-injured himself again. This time Devonta was done for the season with knee and groin injuries.

The next two weeks, our running game still suffered barely getting 60 team rushing yards. Justin Blaylock and Lamar Holmes were big misses on the offensive line.  Week 8 against the Redskins was one of our best rushing weeks, running for 154 yards (88 yards Tevin 60 Ish Smith). The Rookie Ish Smith started to show a lot of promise with TD’s in back to back games.

The Falcons faced good run defenses the next 3 weeks and it showed getting 60 team rushing yards once and the rest under 30. Injuries were continuously a problem this season. Week 11 against the Saints was so bad Matt Ryan was our leading rusher with 16 yards. The next couple weeks were more filling: a 107 team yard rushing game against Green Bay and 215 yards rushing against Arizona (our highest of the year) and we finally saw some promise from our young backs.

Another rookie Brian Hill had his breakout game Week 16 against the Panthers running for 8 carries for 115 yards. The Falcons RBs ended the season with an average 100 yards and a year full of injuries.

Devonta Freeman was our only pass catching back and you can tell by the Falcons back having no receiver over 30 receiving yards this season. Hopefully with a healthy O-Line and Freeman next season we’ll be better.

Evan Nix

 

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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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