Atlanta Falcons: Grading the offense at Falcons bye week

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Oct 15, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) runs for a touchdown past New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) during the fourth quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Falcons 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Running backs

Weeks 1-4: A+
Weeks 5-9: B+
Overall: A

The emergence of Devonta Freeman in the backfield has been a breath of fresh air for the Falcons. After nine weeks, Freeman has piled up 721 rushing yards with nine touchdowns, along with 420 receiving yards and another two scores. He is No. 1 in the league for rushing touchdowns and No. 2 for rushing yards.

Rookie Tevin Coleman, who was the starter the first two games, has looked solid when called upon, but we’ve not seen much from him since he suffered a ribs injury in Week 2. Before fumbling in New Orleans, Coleman was adding a nice change of pace in the backfield.

Against San Francisco, Atlanta ran just 14 times for 17 yards. Good offenses take what the defense gives them, great offenses take what they want. The Falcons must show greater commitment to the run, because they have the talent to do so.

Outlook: The Falcons established balance between run and pass early in the season, but have become too pass-happy in recent weeks. Getting Coleman more carries could help give the ground game the spark it needs moving forward. This shouldn’t take any work away from Freeman because he’s been outstanding, but rather add more running plays in each game.

Next: Wide receivers