The Atlanta Falcons have not fielded a stellar run defense at all times over the last decade. In fact, it would probably be fair to say they’ve been a bad run defense as often as they’ve been a good one.
That said, they’ve got their accomplishments, and here’s one of them: Holding LeSean McCoy, one of the NFL’s best backs since he came into the league back in 2009, to under 100 yards all four times they’ve faced him.
As you’ll note from the stats above, McCoy has come close just once, with a 95 yard effort against the Falcons in early 2011, and has been held to a combined 206 yards and 3.38 yards per carry over four games. That’s genuinely impressive against a back as talented as McCoy, and it’s worth noting he’s never exceeded four receptions or 22 yards against Atlanta, either.
That’s an encouraging historical note, but of course, those games came against the Eagles. The good news is that McCoy has been struggling to find space behind this Buffalo Bills offensive line thus far in 2017, too, and the Falcons run defense has the talent to limit his production. Making the Bills one-dimensional—and hopefully keeping Tyrod Taylor in the pocket—will go a long way toward ensuring this so-so Bills offense doesn’t put together a quality game against Atlanta.