NFL Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons could use a big game from Michael Turner

Kevin Liles–US Presswire

The Atlanta Falcons are off to an impressive 7-0 start in their 2012 NFL campaign. They are the only undefeated team left and look to keep their winning streak going against the Dallas Cowboys.

One way Atlanta can keep this streak alive is if they are able to establish the run with Michael Turner. The Falcons have an excellent trio of receivers in Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones and Roddy White. However, Dallas defends the pass exceptionally well. In terms of passing yards allowed per game, the Cowboys give up the third fewest at 187.7 per game.  This might not matter if the Falcons play like they did against the Philadelphia Eagles. If the Cowboys rise to the occasion, then Atlanta may have to turn to the run. This is something they have not had to do much of this season.

Against the run, Dallas gives up 104.7 yards per game. That is a pretty solid stat but all it really means is their defense is average against defending the run. The Falcons offense averages 95 yards per game on the ground. It is not like Atlanta cannot run the ball, they just do not do as much as they used to. Last season, Turner would come into games knowing he was going to at least see the ball 20 times. This season under new offensive coordinator Mike Nolan, that number is down around to 15. Turner also is not breaking off into those long runs as much as usual either.

We really cannot tell if Turner has lost a step or not because he does not see enough action in the offense to tell or not. What we do know is Michael Turner is only averaging 59.3 yards per game and that Robert Griffin III has gained more yards this season than Turner. Nevertheless, if Turner can “turn in” (pun intended) a 100 yard game against the Cowboys, it would go a long way towards assuring a victory. It might even make the game easier than Atlanta may have hoped.