The Atlanta Falcons accomplished one of their offseason goals with the signing of Steven Jackson this past week. Jackson will come in to replace the departed Michael Turner, after spending his entire career with the St. Louis Rams.
The reason for this signing is very apparent on both sides – Jackson wants a ring, and the Falcons need a tough ‘between the tackles’ running back. Jackson will serve as the thunder in the Atlanta backfield alongside the speedy Jacquizz Rodgers.
I really like the pairing of Jackson and Rodgers, as it seems it will provide the perfect mixture of skills on the field for the Falcons. The only real concern is how much gas Jackson has left in the tank. He’s a guy in his 30’s now, and there’s a lot of mileage on his legs at this point in his career.
But even after and up-and-down 2012, Jackson still surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the eighth consecutive season. But does he have another one or two in him, and are the Falcons really better with Jackson in their backfield?
The answer is yes, but only by a slim margin. Steven Jackson is a better running back than Michael Turner. I think that’s a pretty fair statement, as history unquestionably tells us that’s the case, and in 2013 it’s very likely Jackson will outperform Turner. If you look at it from that point of view, the Falcons technically are in better position than a year ago. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean the difference in making it to the Super Bowl.
Overall, the Falcons did what they had to and replaced Turner with someone better. Rodgers figures to carry more of the load than ever for the Falcons, and Jackson will be there to pick up the tough yards when they need him to. This is in no way a long-term solution for Atlanta, but they’re doing what they can to improve their team from a year ago. Plus, they can always take a running back somewhere in the upcoming draft, if they want to cover all their bases.
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