Michael Turner Entering The Rushing Zone

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 16: Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons carries the ball against James Anderson #50 of the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome on October 16, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Falcons have won a lot of games over the last four years thanks to Michael Turner. That's a fact. 

Coming into the 2011 season, the Falcons made a lot of noise about their passing game, and it seemed justified. Up to this point, however, it hasn't led to a lot of production for Matt Ryan and his merry band of receivers. Indeed, Ryan has just an 82 passer rating with eight touchdowns and six interceptions. He had 9 interceptions all of last year, for comparison's sake.

The Falcons have the potential to be an elite passing offense before long, but they're in the middle of a stretch that favors Turner. An inconsistent runner at this point in his career—especially with the offensive line getting off to a sluggish start—Turner has nonetheless been a beast against weak run defenses. Where other backs will have good games against the struggling, Touchdown Vampire basically dominates. That was true against the Panthers, who were in the bottom four in the league in run defense.

The next two games should continue that trend. The Colts are actually worse than the Panthers, if you can believe that, and are a generally awful football team right now. Before we can get to them, the Falcons play the Lions, a damn scary football team with one glaring weakness: They're 25th in the league against the run. The 49ers exploited that on Sunday, with Frank Gore racking up well over 100 yards, and Gore has had a very mediocre year. These are prime circumstances for Turner.

The Falcons' goal, then, should be to hearken back to the days of 2008. Use Turner as a battering ram these next two games, wearing down defenses and milking the clock, and chew up yardage. Mix in a short passing game and take strikes downfield as needed. Normally I'd advocate being more aggressive and taking advantage of the Falcons' stable of passing game weapons, but with the opportunities in front of them, it would be wise to lean on Turner just a little big longer.

Do you think Turner's primed for a great stretch? Tell us why or why not.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker