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Should the Falcons Avoid Multi-Back Formations in 2013?

Fact: a bird in Steven Jackson's hand is worth three in the bush


The Falcons' rushing attack was sub-par in 2012. They ranked 27th in rushing yards/game (91.4 yards/game) and 24th in rushing yards/attempt (3.9 yards/attempt). Their rushing yardage also accounted for just 24.19 percent of their offense (30th in the league). From an efficiency standpoint, things don't look much better. Their rushing DVOA was over 17 percent less efficient than league average (29th in the league). These numbers probably don't shock you, but they're very illustrative.

Blame the offensive line or blame Michael Turner's thunder thighs and associated jiggles, it is what it is. I'm only interested in one thing: how do we fix it?

Their difficulties may be schematic. Specifically, it may be that the Falcons need to avoid multi-back sets when they obviously aren't working. The Falcons weren't particularly efficient in a single back set (13.4 percent less efficient than league average). That said, their inefficiency was epic in multi-back sets (29.4 percent less efficient than league average - 3rd worst in the league). In other words, the Falcons were 16.1 percent more efficient in single back sets. Right now, you're thinking "But they barely ran the ball!" or something else to that effect. True, but they did run multi-back sets in 53 percent of their rushing plays.

I'm no expert, but methinks multi-back sets shouldn't be the go-to this season. Granted, Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers is better than Fatty Fat Fat 2012 Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers, but it could just be that multi-back sets make the Falcons too predictable.

Your thoughts?