Ever since 2008, the Falcon’s fans, like myself, have had the privilege of seeing Michael Turner pummel through defender after defender. In the off season of ’08, the Falcons signed themselves a very solid #1 RB. Breaking out that season at the age of 26, we were ecstatic to finally have a great back. He rushed for 1,699 yards in 2008. An injury plagued season forced Turner to only 871 yards in 2009, but rebounded with 1,371 yards in 2010. Last season, he kept that number close, rushing for 1,340 yards. But as he reaches the age of 30, how will Turner fare this season?
Michael Turner is facing the age of 30. 30 is the dreaded age for RBs as they usually see a drop off in production from previous years. Turner being a ground and pound back, I am afraid that his body won’t be able to hold up. Many will argue that he isn’t like a regular running back because he was a back up for Ladanian Tomlinson for 4 years of his career. I am here to say he is in the same boat as all the other 30 year old backs.
Whether or not he was a backup for 4 years doesn’t take away from the fact that his body is 30 years old. Here is a hint; that is only 10 years away from being 40. Your body will become weaker, and less able to do things. He is going to feel fatigue a little bit easier, and a little bit more. He won’t be able to do all the things he was accustomed to for the past 4 years in Atlanta.
What also doesn’t help the cause is that he has had 1,189 rushing attempts in 4 years. Here is a comparison. Adrian Peterson, in his first 4 years in the league (May I remind you he was much younger than Turner) received 1,198 carries. Peterson’s much younger, fresher body was able to handle these amount of carries better than Turner’s.
Enough of all this down-talking of Turner. I still am a Falcons fan and love Turner dearly, and wish he gets 2,000 yards this season. However, I am also realistic. With Turner being 30, and the amount of wear he has put on in 4 years, I expect a lot less production this season. There will be a lot less production because of the attempts he will receive. There have been many reports that Turner will see a lot less action this season. I feel this is a great thing for him. We will be able to preserve Turner for when we really need him most- making a run in the playoffs.
With this being said, I expect about 1,000 yards and 9 TD’s from Turner this season. Where will all the other touches go to? I believe they will be going to a younger Jacquizz Rodgers in his second year. Watch out for Rodgers this season as a game changing running back.
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