I think the entire state of Georgia celebrated the morning the Atlanta Falcons picked up Todd Gurley, or at least the town of Athens, GA did. The addition of Gurley to the backfield is perfect timing due to the release of Devonta Freeman.
Now that the excitement has somewhat settled, let’s dive into the details on exactly what Gurley will bring to the table for the Falcons.
The Red Zone
Falcons reporter Kelsey Conway caught up with color analyst and former Falcons QB, Dave Archer to discuss where Gurley will help on offense.
“Where he’s really going to impact the team I believe is down in the red zone, Archer told Conway. The ability to run the ball down close is going to widen the field for passing game because you have to come up and account for Gurley. Bigger body guy can run through tackles. And what does he do? He puts the ball in the end zone on the ground. Something the Falcons have not had since 2016.”
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Bad Knee a Problem?
Not necessarily. The 25-year old has a bad knee that everyone seems to be so worried about. Don’t listen in on all of the negative media hype.
Yes, Gurley has a bad knee but he only missed one full game last season because of it. And with his bad knee, he still managed to score 14 touchdowns.
Were his stats not as high as they’ve been in past years? Yes. But that’s because head coach Sean McVay relies more on a pass-first attack offense.
For the second straight year, the Falcons have finished at the bottom in the NFL for rushing yards. This is the year the Falcons will focus on their run game, which means incorporating Gurley.
Pass Game & Run Game
Gurley is joining a loaded offense alongside quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley and new tight end target Hayden Hurst which could make Atlanta’s offense one of the most feared in the NFC South.
Gurley moving in on the offense will give Ryan some options. Ryan can use Gurley as another passing target or take advantage of Gurley’s company in the backfield as a dominating rusher. Either way, the opposing defense will hurt.
In 2019, Atlanta averaged 85.1 rushing yards per game, making them the third-lowest rank in the league. The Falcons relied primarily on passing the ball since they couldn’t figure out the run game.
The Rams, not too far behind ranked 26th last season, averaging 93.7 rushing yards per game. However, in 2017 and 2018 they ranked in the top 10.
If Gurley can come to Atlanta and return to the early stages of his career, even slightly, then he will move the Falcons offense up in their ranks. The best part is, he is joining what is projected to be one of the best offenses in the league to help him out.
Atlanta taking a chance on the young ball carrier is a smart move and if anything he will light a spark in the Falcons community and fill more stadium seats.