4 Players That Need To Step Up For Atlanta Falcons This Season

Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons Devonta Freeman Ryan Schraeder (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

4. Devonta Freeman

Devonta Freeman was rewarded with a big contract after back-to-back 1000 rushing yard seasons. Also, in those two seasons, Freeman had more than 450 receiving yards, making him one of the most versatile and productive running backs in the NFL.

Being plagued by injuries the last two seasons have seen Freeman’s numbers take a big hit. In 2017, playing 14 games, Freeman rushing total dropped under 1000 but his all-purpose yards stayed over 1000. Last season was a complete wash for Freeman, only playing two games. Without Freeman complementing Tevin Coleman, the Falcons offense became very one dimensional.

It’s hard to know what to expect from Freeman after being nagged by injuries for the past two seasons. Unlike Trufant, Beasley, and McKinley, Devonta Freeman was not playing at all. Having him back at all should be a big boost for the Falcons offense. It is unclear whether Freeman can be the kind of rusher who is over 1000 yards on the ground and another 500 through the air. That’s a lot to ask for. However, if Freeman can combine for 1000-1200 combined yards, this Falcons offense will start resembling the record-breaking offense of 2016.