New Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley is on a one-year $5 million show me deal. Will he prove to the rest of the NFL that he is finally healthy?
When the Atlanta Falcons signed Todd Gurley there was an excitement that the franchise was bringing in a former MVP candidate at a position that has lacked real production over the last several years. After the team decided to move on from former running back Devonta Freeman, there was a major hole that needed to be filled.
Although one could argue, this need has been here since Freeman missed that block in Super Bowl LI after spending too much time thinking about his second NFL contract.
That said, what should the actual expectations for Gurley be in 2020? Given no one knows what his health actually is since he has yet to take his physical due to the current global pandemic, his expected production and participation is the million-dollar question.
The 2019 season for Todd Gurley saw his worst year as a professional football player in the NFL. He had a career-low in carries, yards, and yards per attempt. He did have his third-best year in rushing touchdowns with 12. The Falcons had 10 rushing touchdowns as a team in 2019.
Matter of fact, an Atlanta Falcons running back has not had 12 rushing touchdowns in a season since Michael Turner had 12 in 2010. In all but 2 seasons since that 2010 season, the Atlanta Falcons have had 11 or less rushing touchdowns total in a season, so hopefully, that is something that will improve with Todd Gurley.
What is a realistic bar of success for Todd Gurley and the Atlanta Falcons in 2020?
Looking at his past production, setting the bar at 850 yards and 10 touchdowns seems realistic for Gurley in 2020 given the unknowns that surround him.
OVER/UNDER 850 yards and 10 touchdowns: OVER
Maybe this is just me trying to be too positive, but Todd Gurley will have one of the better years for Atlanta Falcons running back that we have seen in some time. If offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will give him a chance to succeed, Gurley will reward that.
Expect for Todd Gurley to have close to 900 yards and more than 10 touchdowns in 2020. By adding this element to the Atlanta Falcons offense, you should then see Matt Ryan and the passing offense really excel as teams have to prepare for Todd Gurley.