Atlanta Falcons: 3 goals Marcus Mariota can accomplish this season
By Nick Halden
2. Finish the season with more than 300-rushing yards
Last season Matt Ryan was consistently running for his life behind an offensive line that couldn’t pass block with any form of consistency. This same offensive line is still the projected starting group for Atlanta as we near the pre-season. While Atlanta may shuffle the starting lineup there isn’t any questioning it is one of Atlanta’s weakest groups this season. An accomplishment in itself when you consider the issues on both sides of the ball for the rebuilding Atlanta Falcons roster.
Ryan finished last season with 82-rushing yards despite the fact he attempted to rush the ball 40-times the most since his third year in the league when he attempted to run the ball 46 times. Mariota is going to be dealing with these same problems, however, he is a far better runner and will be able to find seams and make plays with his feet.
Out of the four seasons that he started the entire year, Mariota surpassed 300-rushing yards in three of them. The Falcons and Mariota are going to have to head into the year with the understanding Marcus is going to have to use his legs as a weapon as much out of a need to create offense as to protect himself and stop negative plays.
Mariota still has elite speed that can create issues for a defense a skill set he is going to have to rely on if he wants to stay off the turf consistently.