Lack of Elite Running Backs for the Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons have been around since the NFL-AFL merger and they’ve had their fair share of talent all over the field, but the running back position for the Falcons might be the most underwhelming position in the history of the franchise.
Looking back at the players who have carried the rock out of the backfield for the Atlanta Falcons, there are some notable names. Jamal Anderson (when his knees allowed him to) might have had one, if not the best season ever for the Falcons at the running back position in 1998. Warrick Dunn was a key contributor to the Michael Vick-led Falcons of the 2000’s. Steven Jackson and Michael Turner came along as well and had some solid seasons of their own.
The Falcons all-time leading rusher is Gerald Riggs and he played before my time, but for a three year stretch (1985-1987), he was one of the best backs in league, but the other four years he played for the Falcons, it was a disappointment at best.
The names stick out, but the numbers don’t. Devonta Freeman could very well end up as the best running back in franchise history yards wise if he can stay healthy for another two to three years. Those are how surprisingly disappointing the numbers are at the position.
This is not a knock on anyone who has played the position for the Falcons, but this really caught me off guard. If the following names don’t bring attention to just how low-key disappointing this is, then maybe you are a Falcon stain like no other.
Devonta Freeman is ranked eighth all-time in rushing yards which it to be expected, he’s the starting running back for the team. Jerious Norwood, who had less than 100 carries in all but one of his five seasons with the Falcons, ranks 16th all-time in rushing yards. FULLBACK Jason Snelling, who only started six games over his career with the Falcons, ranks 22nd all-time in rushing yards.
I hope this last point I make about this will get my point across…..with 102 more rushing yards this season, MATT RYAN ….Matty Ice will pass Steven Jackson in career rushing yards and we all know Matt is not the fleetest footed quarterback we’ve had.
No disrespect to anyone who has had the privilege of toting the rock for the Falcons because for a period of time, that’s all we could do. We have hall of fame defenders (get Jessie Tuggle in there!!!!) , we are going to have a hall of fame quarterback and possibly two wide receivers as well (show Roddy White some love NFL Hall of Fame) at the rate we are going, we will not see a HOMEGROWN hall of fame running back.