Todd Gurley’s knee issues aren’t stopping him from holding to No. 1 rank in the NFL for red-zone carries.
According to Pro Football Focus, the only other running back up there with Gurley in the red-zone the past two years is the Carolina Panthers tailback, Christian McCaffrey. Still, Gurley ranks above him with 18 more red-zone carries.
Over the past five seasons in the NFL, Gurley has rushed for 58 total touchdowns and 12 receiving. Gurley is most effective in the red zone, where it matters most.
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Gurley is A Touchdown Machine, Despite His Knee
The concern over Todd Gurley’s knee is getting exhausting. I and many Falcons fans can’t wait for game day so he can prove the haters wrong.
Gurley became a back-to-back star after leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 13 in 2017 and again in 2018 with 17.
His success had the Rams signed him to a four-year, $57.5 million extension—the biggest running back deal in NFL history at the time. After signing the deal, his performance started to decline. At the end of the 2019 season, Gurley had a career-low rushing for only 857 yards. With a bad knee, he still managed to score 14 touchdowns in which 12 were rushing TDs.
The Rams cut Gurley which saved the team $10.5 million in guaranteed salary for 2020. Gurley’s performance didn’t just decline due to his arthritis, the Rams had him on touch count and McVay was running a pass-attack offense. Gurley could have done more if LA allowed him.
Gurley Continues to Rank High
The Falcons didn’t haven’t had anyone reliable in the backfield in the past two years but they will this year with Gurley.
While Gurley comes off of a less productive season in comparison to his previous years, he 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, making their offense more two dimensional.
Gurley is the Falcons X-Factor
The Falcons’ offense still has Ryan as their leader and Alex Mack on the line at the center is the glue, two of the most reliable and solid over the years. Falcons rookie Matthew Hennessey is also joining Mack on the line. Offensive tackle Kaleb McGary is returning 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. Also, we saw a taste of Chris Lindstrom before he broke his foot. He was nothing but a pleasurable sight to see and he’s healthy again.
What’s really exciting though is that Gurley getting a lead blocker in Keith Smith this season, something he didn’t have at the Rams, 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 with Gurley as their magic (not primary) weapon.