The Falcons Offensive Line Must Step Up For Steven Jackson

USA TODAY Sports

Why we shouldn't all assume the Falcons are heading for ground game success.

Steven Jackson has been celebrated far and wide up to this point, and with good reason. He's an insanely hard worker, he's still an effective back and he can catch the football out of the backfield. The Falcons are lucky to have him in 2013, and even if he's not that effective by the end of the contract, he'll likely be worth every penny of his deal.

I don't mean to be a Killjoy T. Partypooper, ladies and gents, but there's something we haven't spent enough time talking about when it comes to Jackson. That's the run-blocking effectiveness of this line.

This was not a strength a year ago, when Michael Turner, Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers all failed to average four yards per carry. There's ample evidence that all three backs have their issues, of course, but you can't lay sole blame for those numbers at their feet. The blocking up front was not stellar.

The question is whether that will change for S-Jax, giving him a shot at boosting his yards per carry this season and perhaps creating a more effective Jacquizz Rodgers, as well. The answer is a resounding....maybe?

Neither Peter Konz nor Lamar Holmes is known as a mauling run blocker. Garrett Reynolds is pretty effective if he wins the right guard position, but the best case scenario for the team's RBs may well be former mauling Alabama guard/tackle Mike Johnson taking over one of those spots, but there's no reason to believe this is going to transform into a dominant run-blocking unit overnight.

I'll turn it over to you guys. Will the line block effectively for Jackson & Co.?

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