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Tevin Coleman has most negative plays of any NFL running back

The loss of Devonta Freeman has destroyed Atlanta’s run game.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

We know the Atlanta Falcons have no run game. While Steve Sarkisian has stubbornly tried to keep the run game going, the results have been terrible. The Falcons have devolved into only the passing attack and basically Damontae Kazee.

The Falcons have had trouble with run blocking. Both Andy Levitre and Brandon Fusco went to injured reserve earlier this season, and Ryan Schraeder plays like he’s on injured reserve. We are also seeing what poor blocking and a running back with poor vision and an inability to break tackles means.

That’s Tevin Coleman far and away the most likely player to lose yardage on any given run play. It would be wrong to put all the blame on him (see: poor blocking), but we learned this season that Coleman is far from an every down back. Despite a shuffled offensive line and changing fullbacks, Coleman is averaging 4.1 yards per carry, nearly identical to his career 4.2 yards per carry.

Running back success metrics have long put Devonta Freeman near the top of the league with Coleman near the bottom. Coleman has blazing speed but has not been able to consistently put it to use. He’s projected to finish the season at an uninspiring 736 rushing yards and 390 receiving yards. Freeman’s injury has likely cost Coleman a sizable chunk of change in free agency now that teams have seen he shines as a change of pace option.

The run game isn’t coming back before Freeman gets healthy.