Last season, Atlanta ranked 30th in the NFL with only 85.1 rushing yards per game. Due to a lack in their run game, the Falcons finished with a 7-9 season. The Falcons expect a huge leap in their rushing attack with the new addition of Gurley.
“Todd Gurley’s ability to control the offense as a runner and then be a playmaker in the passing game will really change the way people cover the field with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley,” Brooks told Duke & Bell on 92.9. “It will also open up the field for Matt Ryan.”
Gurley Passing His Physical Means a Better Run Game
Gurley passed his physical with flying colors last month which put a lot of questions to rest. The Falcons have the potential to have a top-tier offense. An extremely healthy Gurley would be a different ball game.
Since 2016 and the last time the Falcons saw 1,000 rushing yard season, Gurley has recorded 3,413 rushing yards and 42 rushing touchdowns.
The Falcons have all of the pieces to be a top-tier offense this season, just like they have been in the past with Matt Ryan in charge. However, Gurley’s health will be what separates this team from good and great. And at this rate, it’s looking like it could be great.
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Matt Ryan Was Really Impressed With Gurley
Matt Ryan flew out to California in quarantine to get some work in with his new running back and he really liked what he saw.
“I’ve gotten to work with Todd and he’s awesome,” Ryan told ESPN’s, Vaughn McClure. “Really, really good guy. A hard worker. He’s super-smart. The stuff I was telling him one day, the next day he had it done. I was really impressed with his ability to retain information. You don’t have to tell him twice. He’s on it.”
Gurley is joining a loaded offense with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, and of course, Matty Ice.
Ryan Now Has Options
Gurley moving in on the offense will give Ryan some options, something they didn’t have last season. Ryan can use Gurley as another passing target or take advantage of Gurley’s company in the backfield as a dominating rusher.
Brooks believes this Falcons offense matches up to Tampa’s and New Orleans’ offense, but it comes down to one real magic weapon.
“The supporting cast that Matt Ryan has around him is as good as what they have down in Tampa with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and certainly as good as what New Orleans has in Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Alvin Kamara,” Brooks said. “I think the X-Factor to all of those when it comes to Matt Ryan’s play is Todd Gurley.”