Atlanta Falcons: Current Running Back Depth Chart Won't Cut it For 2014 Season

By Ryan Heckman
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season for the Atlanta Falcons has not been anywhere close to what anyone thought it would be. While there have been many to believe that the Falcons have always been “pretenders” and that quarterback Matt Ryan is not as clutch as he could be in the postseason, injuries certainly played a large part in their debacle of a season thus far.

Without Julio Jones for the majority of the year, as well as a never-quite-healthy Roddy White, the Falcons’ biggest threat in the passing game has consistently been Harry Douglas. Obviously, Tony Gonzalez is there too, but as far as wideouts go this team was stripped of two Pro Bowlers and that has hurt.

One of the areas, though, that the Falcons have really struggled with this season is in the run game. I might even go as far as to say that in 2014 this position has to look much differently.

The Falcons are currently 29th in the league in rushing. While many could argue that it could be due to the injuries on offense, particularly Steven Jackson, there has been no one to step up in his absence. Not only that, but the Falcons haven’t made it a point to commit to the run. Through 12 games, the Falcons have a total of 237 carries on the year — an average of 19.75 rushes per game.

Both Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling were decent options in a fantasy league for a couple particular games, but consistency was no where to be seen with them. Rodgers has 83 rushes for 292 yards, two touchdowns and just a 3.5 yards per carry average. Snelling, meanwhile, has 36 carries for 137 yards and one touchdown. Jackson is finally getting the ball the bulk of the time, but has only put up a mediocre 3.5 yards per carry as well on 97 carries.

If Atlanta wants any consistency on offense in the coming years, yes even with their top two wideouts, they are going to have to address the running back position. Jackson is too old to be “the guy” in the backfield at this point. Now, if they want to keep him and go out to get another back and do the whole “running back by committee” thing, by all means that might work. Whatever they do, though, they better make sure that position is in better shape than it was this season.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.



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