Fact: Michael Turner's chin beard cures cancer
Until free agency starts, I'm going to be miserable. Like Dave-after-his-sixer-of-Mike's-Hard-runs-out miserable. Why? Because baseless speculation abounds. I hate baseless speculation. I just wanna know what next year's team is going to look like. Right meow!
But alas, that isn't meant to be. We have weaknesses, and Thomas Dimitroff will do his darndest to fill holes. If this article is any indication, the running back corps is the Falcons' biggest weakness right now.
There were 42 running backs with at least 100 carries in 2012, and among that group, Atlanta's Michael Turner ranked 41st in rushing DVOA. The Falcons' top rusher averaged only 3.6 yards per carry, and he fell below 4.0 yards per carry in 12 games, 13 including the playoffs. Atlanta was the league's worst team on short-yardage runs. By the end of the year it was clear that Turner was a liability. In two playoff games, Turner had just 22 carries, while backup Jacquizz Rodgers had 20. As a duo, they gained only 62 yards on 18 carries in the season-ending playoff loss to San Francisco.
This isn't exactly breaking news. We whined and complained about the lack of a rushing attack all season long. It was a constant source of frustration. While Rodgers proved to be a reliable, dual-threat running back, it's fair to say that he's a bit of an unknown. He wasn't the feature back this year, and if we extrapolate, he's arguably capable of assuming a larger role. Even so, it isn't exactly rational to start comparing him to Ray Rice or MJD. I like what I see, as I'm sure most of you do. But his true potential remains to be seen. Bottom line: he's been great so far, but 2 seasons in a part time role does not a career make.
Meanwhile, there's some real questions about what the Falcons will do on defense. Is there a shift to the 3-4 coming? Will the Falcons lock down William Moore and Brent Grimes? Does Thomas Decoud have stock in Glamor Shots?
No team is a perfect. It's always a process of rectifying weakness - that's science behind the madness that is the NFL. What do you consider to be our biggest weakness? Discuss.