The Falcons made quite the splash in acquiring the services of Todd Gurley in 2020. However, there has been plenty of talk on whether Todd Gurley II has really lost it in regards to his explosive athleticism and productivity due to his left knee. Although it is something to be noted, the massive concern about it is a bit overblown. Of course he won’t be at his same MVP level, he still has plenty in the tank and will be a major contributor on this offense.
What kind of yardage can he put up in 2020?
Gurley has averaged 1,080 rushing yards in his 5 years as a pro. During this time, he played under two coaching staffs. Gurley finished with 857 rushing yards last season, which also occurred when he received the least rushes of his career at 223. There are some that state that it was due to the status of his knee, and there are others that state that it was purely a coach’s decision.
However, it’s accurate to put his baseline as his rushing average of 1,080 because he’s still a productive rusher, and he’ll be playing in a great offense.
Case for the over
Gurley has had over 1,000 rushing in 3 of his first 5 seasons in the NFL, the most being 1,305 in 2017. While with the Rams, Gurley was the focus for most defensive coordinators when it came to stopping the Rams’ offense. Well, the story is vastly different in Atlanta. When you have an All-Pro WR in Julio Jones, a former MVP in Matt Ryan and an up and coming star in Calvin Ridley, teams can’t afford to stack the box in efforts to stop Gurley.
As a result, Gurley will see a lot more 7 man boxes, which he should be able to take advantage of. That along with the fact that he will have a better, younger and more athletic OL, makes a good case that Gurley could have more yards this season.
The case for the under
Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way because everyone is talking about it. The arthritic knee has happened over time, having surgery to correct an ACL tear. Yes it is a factor, but not as big of a factor as others are making it. Speaking from experience, there won’t be many instances where this will be a factor, as long as he’s properly training and taking care of it.
The second case for the under? Quite simply, Dirk Koetter. Koetter has been known to abandon the run habitually, and, ultimately, it could limit the touches Gurley could see. Under Koetter, both Tampa Bay and Atlanta have ranked at the bottom of the league when it comes to the running game. Could it change with Gurley considering his talent? Maybe, but I’m not holding my breath.
What do you think? Gurley still has gas in the tank and is still young, but what do you think he will bring to the running game? Do you think he comes back with a fury and bring another 1,000 season or does he fall short?