Last week, or one week B.A.S. (Before Antone Smith), the Atlanta Falcons sat at a putrid 579 yards rushing over nine games. This awful 64.3 yards per game wasn't even enough to outperform the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But from that darkness, came light. The bearer of that light is 5'9", 192lbs of pure magic from Florida State who brought that number up to 731 rushing yards. Coming into this game Smith was averaging a pedestrian 8.0 YPC but he was unleashed for 44.0 YPC against a quality run defense. Atlanta has since skyrocketed from the 32nd run offense to the 31st run offense since Smith was freed.
Not that it needs to be said, but your Atlanta Falcons have struggled this year. Sorry guys. The Super Bowl might not be a guarantee for this season.
Smith showed some very nice burst and Steven Jackson looked a bit more like old Steven Jackson on Sunday. Put that together and Atlanta did a pretty good job at running the ball before (or well after) the Falcons fell disappointingly behind at the hands of
Doug Martin Mike James Bobby Rainey Josh Freeman... Bobby Rainey.
In a year with celebrations being few and far between, Atlanta being not the worst qualifies for something. While only a few weeks ago the Falcons were on pace for under 1,000 yards rushing, the team is no longer in danger of a historically terrible season. We may crack 1,200 yards before you know it.
Smith did a nice job on Sunday even though he only got two carries in garbage time. He is the first home run threat at running back that Atlanta has had since Jerious Norwood was healthy. Smith, previously considered a special teams ace, has easily earned himself a good 5-7 touches per game. I believe his top-end speed can play well in spot duty behind Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers.
Congratulations to Smith. Hopefully he can help Atlanta bump up a few more spots in rushing yardage and give us the run game we have has missed all year.