Six Men Make A Line For The Atlanta Falcons

Want to hear an interesting and random statistic? If you didn't, tough luck. I will hut you to the ends of the earth to tell you about it.

Anyways, apparently the Falcons used a six-man offensive line 78 times in 2010. That was good for fourth in the league, which means Will Svitek earned himself a paycheck, being the guy most likely to line up as el seis hombre. The team third-most likely to use a six man front is pretty familiar to all of you, being of course the hated New Orleans Saints.

Fascinating, right? Wait, there's more! It turns out the Falcons ran on those plays a startling 79 percent of the time. It would take some Herculean stat-mongering to figure out how successful they were on those plays, but let's just say opponents probably could guess that Michael Turner was about to get the rock when Svitek lumbered up to join Sam Baker & Co.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is that the Falcons clearly like having a versatile lineman that they feel they can add to the line, particularly when they want to muscle Turner up the field. That's a little predictable for my taste, but the Falcons can certainly pull a sixth man in when they want to protect Ryan, should the need arise. Thankfully, Svitek seems capable of doing so.

The second point I wanted to touch on is how this tendency might change in 2011, given that the composition of the line is likely to change at least somewhat once free agency gets its sweaty paws all over the Falcons. Given the way the team nurtures its linemen to be ready for any situation, I think it won't particular discourage them if Tyson Clabo or Justin Blalock should leave. Svitek isn't going anywhere, after all.

Just wanted to share. Thoughts?

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