Gurley, who is coming off of a less productive season in comparison to his previous years, is still ranked fifth in total offense among all 32 NFL teams. His average hangs at 379.7 yards (294.6 passing and 85.1 rushing) and 23.8 points per game.
The former UGA star is joining an offense with veterans Matt Ryan and Julio Jones who are not washed up yet. Gurley is going to open doors for Ryan in the pass and run game, make their offense more versatile than last year.
Todd Gurley Will Be Amongst the Rushing Leaders in 2020
Baldinger share’s his insight on why we will see Gurley return to his ‘original form’ as he entered a clean slate in Atlanta.
When I listen to what the Falcons are saying this offseason — specifically, Dirk Koetter, the offensive coordinator — they want to get back to the zone-stretch play, the foundational play, that made the Falcons the No. 1 offense in football in 2016. This is what Todd has been doing with (offensive-minded Rams head coach) Sean McVay. This is 2018, that shootout against the Chiefs. Look at this clip — just foot to daylight right there. That’s how he ran for five yards a carry and 17 touchdowns in 2018.
(The Falcons) rebuilt the offensive line last year and, quite frankly, they weren’t very good. Here, in the opening game of the season against the (Carolina) Panthers, there’s just way too much penetration. Todd Gurley can’t get on track. He can’t get onto that moving sidewalk. I think the Falcons, with (right guard) Chris Lindstrom coming back in the second season, Kaleb McGary, the right tackle, with (left tackle) Jake Matthews and the commitment to that play — I think Todd Gurley can benefit and I think we’ll see him back here, amongst the rushing leaders this season.
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Falcons Offense Returning in Better Shape
The Falcons didn’t have anyone reliable in the backfield last year but they will this year with Gurley.
They have Matt Ryan as their leader and Alex Mack on the line at center as the glue. Kaleb McGary returns for his second season after starting all 16 games as a rookie. This year should be a breakthrough as he’s returning with more experience.
We saw a taste of Chris Lindstrom before he broke his foot and he was nothing but a pleasurable sight to see.
Gurley will also have a lead blocker in Keith Smith this season which will make him much more efficient.
The Falcons have a masterpiece in the palm of their hands if they can just figure out how to get it all to work together.
Todd Gurley’s Production Decrease in 2019
When you look at Gurley’s 2019 production, it’s not overwhelmingly low as a lot of people are making it out to be.
The Rams had managed his workload so he wasn’t playing his normal load. Gurley ended up scoring a total of 14 touchdowns and 12 of them were rushing.
Christian Mccaffrey and Aaron Jones led the league with 19, just five more. If that doesn’t make you understand why Atlanta didn’t hesitate to jump the gun as soon a Gurley was released then I am not sure what will.
The Falcons will also continue to manage Gurley’s touch count to start the season, but we could easily see that disappear.