Atlanta Falcons: Five keys to beat Philadelphia Eagles

2 of 5

4) Establishing a run game

Sep 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) runs with the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons have been unable to establish a solid running game since the departure of Michael Turner. I know, you have heard that over and over again, but it’s true. Whether or not it is the offensive line’s fault or not, the Falcons’ running backs have struggled mightily over the past two years.

It will be important for the Falcons to get the run game going early in the game against the Eagles. Kyle Shannahan’s offense flourishes when he has a running back who can keep the defense honest. And when you have the receiving corps that the Falcons have, it’s all over but the crying if the run game gets going.

You better believe that the first two possessions for the Falcons will be littered with run plays. Let’s hope that it isn’t just six plays over the course of those two possessions, but if the team want’s to establish a running game, that very well may be the outcome.

Rookie Tevin Coleman has been thrust-ed into the spotlight as the teams’ number one back on the depth chart, but don’t count out second year man Devonta Freeman. Freeman did not play at all in the preseason due to a nagging hamstring injury, but everything points to a week 1 return against the Eagles.

If the Falcons rush for more than 100 yards in the game, you can expect the Falcons to score a lot of points. A good running game will open up the play-action pass that Ryan loves and could lead to a lot of wide open throws deep down the field to Julio Jones, Roddy White and company.

While the run game is important, it will not make or break the Falcons’ night. The team will score points regardless, but a helpful running game will make things go a lot smoother over the course of the game.