In the NFL, ‘triplets’ refer to a Quarterback, Wide Receiver and Running Back combo that is very good. The first time I can think of it being used to refer to an offense with great players at each of those positions was in the 90′s with Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith who won 3 Super Bowls, and were nearly unstoppable on offense.
The National Football Post’s Dan Pompei ranked the Top-8 Trios in the NFL today. Some of these have greater strengths at one or two of the positions, but between the three of them, they have a tremendous amount of talent wrapped up in three positions. They are as follows: Houston, Carolina, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Baltimore.
An example of a team with great strength at one position and decent player and the other(s), you could look at Houston. They have an All-Pro Wide Receiver (Andre Johnson), an All-Pro Running Back (Arian Foster), and a solid QB (Matt Schaub).
The Falcons are not immune to this sort of thing, and Pompei notes it. In his post, he writes that ‘Ryan has improved each of his first four NFL seasons, and he’s not done getting better.’ I couldn’t agree more with that. He also writes that while White and Michael Turner are the others for now, they will get help from Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez.
Michael Turner is the triplet with the least amount of tread lets on his tires. Both he and White are 30, but considering Turner is constantly hit and running between the tackles, his clock of productivity is ticking. Also take into account Roddy White. He has several seasons of very good productivity left, but the Falcons have another #1 receiver to take over that role in Julio Jones. That means that for at least the next 7 or 8 years, the Ryan-Jones connection will give the Falcons a deadly duo that will always keep them in the conversation for best ‘triplet’ group in the NFL. Michael Turner will eventually retire, but as long as he is still productive, the Falcons will continue to ride this trio for many wins to come.