Atlanta Falcons: Five greatest running backs of all-time

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Dec 14, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons mascot Freddie Falcon waves the Falcons flag before their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Georgia Dome. The Steelers won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

1. Gerald Riggs

It’s hard to imagine a better running back in Atlanta Falcons history than Gerald Riggs, and for every reason he is held in the highest regard by Falcons fans. He reinforced the wizardry of Atlanta running backs when they chose him in 1982 – merely three years after Andrews.

When it came time for the torch to be passed from Andrews to Riggs, it have never burned brighter. The way he powered through defenses was second to none, and he has forever engraved his name among the greatest running backs in franchise history.

In the 1980’s, Atlanta had a lack of superstars on the team, but they definitely had one on their hands in Riggs, who put the weight of the offense on his shoulders week in week out. Nothing short of incredible, he tallied the most rushing yards in Falcons history with 6,631, and finished second in all-time rushing touchdowns with 48.

The saddest part about Riggs’ career was that it took until 2013 for the Falcons to truly immortalize him by adding him to the Ring of Honor. He was always—and will always be—the greatest running back so easily forgotten by time. And as time continues to try to shovel the dirt over his career, he must be remembered as arguably the greatest Falcon ever.