The Atlanta Falcons Can Not Run the Football
Offensively the Falcons have several issues. Chief among those is the inability to run the football. The team ran the ball only 18 times against the Houston Texans, not including two Matt Ryan scrambles. The result was 51 yards gained, with a measly average of 2.8 yards per rush.
Devonta Freeman has spent too much time dancing in the backfield, rather than making a cut and heading up the field for positive yardage. However, the blocking has also been less than ideal. In fact not one single Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman grades well against the run this season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Jamon Brown the team’s new starting right guard leads the way with an uninspiring 61.1 run-blocking grade. However, he missed this past week’s game due to being in the league’s concussion protocol. His replacement Wes Schweitzer has a grade of only 52.3 in the ground game. On the other side, James Carpenter has been abysmal with a horrible grade of 40.1.
Surprisingly Pro Bowl veterans Alex Mack and Jake Matthews have not been effective in the run game either. Matthews has recorded a pitiful grade of 45.8 as a run blocker. Mack has fared better, but still grades an unimpressive 55.7.
Rookie Kaleb McGary has been playing injured, since suffering a sprained knee early in the week two win against the Philadelphia Eagles. He is having a hard time blocking for Atlanta Falcons running backs like the rest of his teammates. PFF gives him a grade of just 54.4 as a road grader.
The Atlanta Falcon’s inability to find balance in their offense by jump-starting the running game is hurting the club badly. The defense is attacking Matt Ryan, knowing that there is a better than 70 percent chance that the play is going to be a pass. This has also severely weakened the team’s play-action passing game.