With Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson still out and the offensive line being an issue, Jacquizz Rodgers has been a favorite target of Matt Ryan out of the backfield.
Rodgers, who is a generous 5-foot-6, is probably the shortest player in the league. He has filled in admirably for Jackson. Along with his running mate Jason Snelling Rodgers has made some excellent catches and out of the backfield and when you combine that his very elusive moves, he has scored in the last few games and had two touchdowns in yesterday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Even though the running lanes are still being clogged and the offensive line having some problems, the short passing game has been key in keeping the Falcons in games.
Rodgers, in his third year out of Oregon State, is a fine match for the screen offense that the Falcons have wanted to run. It was thought that Rodgers role would be diminished with Jackson arriving, but with Jackson remaining out and for who knows for how long, Rodgers is fast becoming one of the most important players the offense has.
Add that to the season-ending loss to wide receiver Julio Jones, Roddy White missing his first game of his career and Harry Douglas being moved to the starting spot, and it’s apparent that having a screen game is critical in relieving some of the pressure that Ryan has faced all year.
Ryan’s stats have been very impressive as he is in the top of the league in passing stats, but missing some of the league’s most prolific receivers will only hurt the Falcons’ passing game. Having such a dynamic player as Rodgers and the steady veteran Snelling, the Falcons just might be able to salvage a season that began with the “Super Bowl or bust” moniker being thrown around Atlanta.