3 Things we learned about the Atlanta Falcons in impressive road win
By Nick Halden
3. Cordarrelle Patterson is the starting running back
Last season Patterson worked his way into the starting running back role out of necessity and less out of design. Mike Davis was supposed to be the answer at the position and give the Falcons much-needed stability on short-yardage plays. Instead, Davis was a disaster and Patterson took over the bulk of the carries playing in a utility role lining up all over the field.
Heading into this season Patterson was expected to share carries with rookie Tyler Allgeier and veteran Damien Williams. After Williams went down, however, Patterson has been used in less of a utility role and as the prototypical running back.
Patterson has thrived in this role giving Mariota a great check-down option and dominating on the ground. It would be surprising to see the Falcons return Patterson to his utility role even once Williams is back and healthy.
Patterson has surpassed 100-rushing yards in two of Atlanta’s three games this season and had limited carries against the Rams due to Atlanta falling behind early. While he thrived in a utility role last season Atlanta has far better pass catchers and his great early success is going to keep him locked in as Atlanta’s primary back.