Atlanta Falcons: 3 Takeaways from Week One
Running on empty
Last year the Falcons had one of the most productive running back duos in the league. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for almost 1,600 yards on the ground and another 900 yards through the air. The pair didn’t come close to those eye-watering number yesterday and struggled to get anything going as they combined for a paltry 53 yards on 20 carries. The dynamic duo was put to shame when quarterback Matt Ryan picked up the longest run of the day on a 13-yard scramble.
Freeman was able to put points on the board when he darted into the end zone, untouched from six yards out. But overall both Freeman and Coleman struggled to find running lanes behind a largely unchanged offensive line.
In particular, Coleman failed to convert a third and one on the opening drive which forced the Falcons to settle for a field goal. Facing second and two in the second quarter, Sarkisian went back to Coleman and again he failed to pick up the first down.
Next: Game Recap: Falcons escape Chicago with a 23-17 Win
Whether we can point the finger at the ball carriers, the blockers or indeed a stingy Bears defense is open to debate. What is not is the fact that the Falcons will need more from there run game if they are going to see off tougher opponents down the line.