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How will the Falcons divvy up carries in 2023?

It’s the kind of question with only positive answers.

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Atlanta has what is often termed a good problem at the running back position. Tyler Allgeier is fresh off a 1,000 yard season as a rookie, Bijan Robinson is one of the most-hyped running back prospects in the past decade, and Cordarrelle Patterson is a Swiss army knife if said knife was entirely made up of blades and hammers. The Falcons have three terrific backs, and their ground game should be fearsome as a result.

How will they divvy up the work at the position, though, especially with the recent news that Avery Williams will miss the 2023 season due to an injury? That’s a question worth considering, and it’s how we’re going to start our Thursday morning.

First let’s attempt to figure out how many rushing attempts there will be for the Falcons to divvy up in the first place. I’ll take Arthur Smith at (paraphrased) word that the Falcons will try to balance things out a little more in 2023 with Desmond Ridder under center, but I only expect that to go so far. That might mean the 559 carries and 400 passing attempts from a year ago will likely be closer to 55/45 than 60/40. Let’s say the Falcons will throw the ball 450 times versus 550 carries, with their plays per game ticking upward slightly.

It’s fair to expect that if they’re both healthy, Allgeier and Robinson will be the dominant forces in the backfield. I agree with Conor Orr at Sports Illustrated that Allgeier may actually receive more carries than Robinson, though I fully expect Robinson to get more touches overall. Patterson will likely be used much more sparingly as a dangerous red zone weapon and receiving option out of the backfield.

I’ll forecast something like 220 carries for Allgeier, 200 for Robinson, 100 for Patterson, and a smattering of touches for whoever else makes the roster. It’s fair to expect that this balanced rushing attack will be one of the league’s best, and if Caleb Huntley returns this season or the Falcons find another capable fourth back, they’ll likely be both dominant and deep.

How do you think the carries will shake out in this backfield?