Atlanta Falcons 2023 position review and grades: Running back

Running back was a position of strength for the Atlanta Falcons and much of the reason they had any offensive success in 2023.

Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

For as bad as the quarterback position was, running back was just as good for the Atlanta Falcons—much thanks to the front office not overthinking their first-round pick in 2023.

It wasn't surprising since they added to what was already a solid group of players. They got significant contributions from their top two players and the occasional impact from their feisty third running back.

Reviewing and grading the running back position for the 2023 Atlanta Falcons

Arthur Smith's 2023 offense figured to be built around the running game thanks to the talent they invested at the running back position. After being led by Tyler Allgeier in 2022, the Falcons leaned heavily on rookie Bijan Robinson who did not disappoint.

Bijan Robinson:

  • 214 carries
  • 976 yards
  • 4 rush TDs
  • 58 receptions
  • 487 receiving yards
  • 4 receiving TDs
  • 4 fumbles (3 lost)

Without Bijan Robinson, the Atlanta Falcons offense really would have been in shambles. What was a criticized first-round pick quickly turned into an important pick.

Not only did he make an impact on the ground, coming close to 1,000 rushing yards, but he also nearly had 500 receiving yards and scored four touchdowns via both avenues. Something you may not realize, Bijan led the team in receiving touchdowns and yards after the catch—by a mile.

It would be nice to see him eliminate the fumbles, however.

Tyler Allgeier:

  • 186 carries
  • 683 yards
  • 4 rush TDs
  • 18 receptions
  • 193 receiving yards
  • 1 receiving TD
  • 0 fumbles

Coming off of a record-breaking rookie season, we all knew that Tyler Allgeier's production would slip after the addition of Bijan.

We were correct as he wasn't quite as effective as the rookie when given the ball. He averaged almost a yard less per carry on the year but he was still a nice bowling ball to roll up the middle. When this offense needed some power, Allgeier was always ready.

He was a reliable ball carrier, especially late in games, and was another good skill piece for this offense.

Cordarrelle Patterson:

  • 50 carries
  • 181 yards
  • 0 rush TD
  • 9 receptions
  • 38 receiving yards
  • 1 receiving TD
  • 1 fumbles (0 lost)

Among the biggest disappointments last season was Cordarrelle Patterson's usage. Arthur Smith appeared to be the first coach in the NFL who knew how to use the versatile player back in 2021 but that all evaporated this past season.

The yards weren't there and the production as a receiver was non-existent. You can hardly blame Patterson for this since it seemed like every time he was handed the ball he hyped the team up with a nasty run.



Overall, the running backs did what they could for this offense. They were expected to be a strength for this team and they were exactly that. The talent of Bijan Robinson was on full display and the power of Tyler Allgeier showed itself. The one nitpick is the lack of production from Cordarrelle Patterson—hardly his fault.

Grade: A-

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