The Atlanta Falcons (2-4) have had numerous injuries as everyone knows, but the extent of the injuries has varied. Some have been out for a couple of weeks and a few like DE Kroy Bierman, RT Mike Johnson, and WR Julio Jones aren’t expected to return this season.
This has caused the Falcons to have to make drastic changes at positions during a game or within a few days and start inexperienced rookies. The Falcons’ run game has been a real issue all season long due to injuries. When Sam Baker and Mike Johnson went out earlier this year, the coaches were forced to start Jeremy Trueblood and Peter Konz. Those two have faced a hard year and have had to protect Matt Ryan and block well enough for a run play to be developed. They have failed to do so and when RB Steven Jackson went out in week 2, that problem became worse.
Coach Mike Smith decided to start Jacquizz Rodgers at running back but because of his stature, he can’t pound and push a defense the way Jackson or Jason Snelling can.
Smith, in turn, decided to alternate both of them more. Still, neither are as big as Jackson and don’t have the same experience that this beast does.
Neither Rodgers nor Snelling has ran for more than 80 yards in a game and with the line they have, they won’t get that. Also, the coaches have put them in bad situations with their predictable play calling when games are on the line resulting in the one score losses.
Finally, after five weeks, doctors have finally released Jackson. He will start against the Arizona Cardinals (3-4) who have the 7th best run defense in the league. Thank god he’s back just in the nick of time. The Falcons will have their pound and ground running back that they need. And don’t think that we won’t see Jacquizz Rodgers anymore, he’s versatile and Snelling is still a great back so we’ll see those two again still…just not as much. Most likely in screen plays and nickel situations.
But overall, the Falcons are getting a piece of the puzzle they envisioned at the beginning of the season back. The Falcons are going to be without Jones, but once White returns and is 100%, things will be almost back to normal.
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