Turner is said to be dealing with an injury to his elbow, which is surprising considering he has not carried the ball very much or far this season. That was kind of a low blow but considering the running back had back to back 1,300 yard rushing seasons its somewhat fitting. As Atlanta heads into week 14, Turner only has 675 yards on the year. The Falcons are also one of the NFL’s worst teams at rushing the ball.
Some blame Turner’s lack of production on Atlanta’s new pass-happy approach, while others blame it on the emergence of Jacquizz Rodgers. Then there are some who say that Michael Turner has gotten older and lost a step.
Michael Turner has not lost a step; the Falcons just are not a power running team anymore. They also have one of the more suspect offensive lines in the league. They’re solid but against teams that consistently provide pressure, the Atlanta Falcons’ O-line tends to struggle. If the Falcons offensive line has problems protecting their QB occasionally then of course they are going to have issues opening up holes for a running back. Turner is a running back who has always thrived on excellent blocking from the offensive line and bruising the opposing team’s secondary in the process.
Needless to say, those holes have not been available for Turner this year. He is not a “scat back” like Rodgers is, who has thrived in Atlanta’s new offensive scheme. Be that as it may, Atlanta is going to need Michael Turner in the playoffs. Good playoff teams need to be able to pound the ball in the fourth quarter to put away their opponents. Turner has that ability but in the meantime, let’s just hope he plays and is effective against Carolina.