Devonta Freeman: Will he hit 1,000 rushing yards on Sunday?


Devonta Freeman has 907 rushing yards on the season. Can he surpass the 1,000 rushing yards in a season threshold versus the Carolina Panthers on Sunday?

Devonta Freeman has already earned his first Pro Bowl nod in only his second season in the NFL. Freeman leads the NFL with 10 rushing touchdowns on the season and has 1,450 all-purpose yards from scrimmage for the 2015 Atlanta Falcons. He will need only 93 yards to break the 1,000 yard threshold on the ground this season. Can he get to 1,000 against the vaunted Carolina Panthers defense in Week 16 at home?

In 2015, Devonta Freeman averages 69.8 rushing yards per game. That would put him roughly 23 yards short of getting to 1,000 against the Panthers on Sunday should he have an average day. However, keep in mind that he wasn’t the starting running back for the Atlanta Falcons the first two weeks and played very little in Weeks 11-12. Devonta Freeman sustained a concussion in Week 11’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts on the first offensive drive of the game. He missed all of Week 12 versus the Minnesota Vikings do to being in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

-= Related: Atlanta Falcons: NFC Power Rankings, Week 16 =-

While the Carolina Panthers are sixth against the run in 2015, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will look to have balance on offense in Week 16. Atlanta was hopelessly shut out 38-0 in Charlotte to these same Panthers in Week 14. The Falcons came back in Week 15 at Jacksonville with a bit more balance, as Freeman’s 56 yards on 25 carries helped lead the Dirty Birds to a victory for the first time in nearly two months.

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Shanahan will look to open up the pass with the run in this game and should Devonta Freeman have any sort of success against the Panthers’ ferocious front seven, he could very well have his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, his first since Week 7 at Tennessee.

While this isn’t necessarily good for the Atlanta Falcons, Tevin Coleman‘s unfortunate fall in the shower Christmas Eve may force more touches than Shanahan planned to give Devonta Freeman in the Atlanta backfield. Though Shanahan is comfortable with giving rookie Terron Ward carries in the running back rotation, most of the burden of Coleman’s likely absence due to concussion will fall on Devonta Freeman.

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Falcons vs. Panthers prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Week 15
Falcons vs. Panthers prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Week 15 /

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  • Since Devonta Freeman is averaging 4.2 rushing yards per attempt, roughly 25 carries would get him over 1,000 rushing yards on the season. While these type of personal milestones don’t do much for getting a team into the postseason, Freeman would become the first Atlanta running back to achieve 1,000 yards on the ground since Michael Turner in 2011.

    Will Freeman get to 1,000 yards on Sunday versus the Carolina Panthers? He’ll get close, but I’m afraid that he’ll come up a bit short in Week 16. Carolina’s defense has allowed only 100 rushing in five games this season and after surrendering 161 on the ground to the New York Giants in Week 15, I expect that defensive coordinator Sean McDermott‘s unit will do a better job against the Atlanta Falcons.

    Next: Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman to the Pro Bowl

    My guess is that Devonta Freeman will eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in Week 17 at home versus the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have arguably the worst statistical defense in the NFL and Freeman already exposed the Saints on the ground in Week 6 on Thursday Night Football. Barring any injury in the next two weeks, Devonta Freeman should get over a combined 93 rushing yards to achieve 1,000 on the ground in 2015 for the Atlanta Falcons. Rise Up!