You don’t need me to tell you that Bijan Robinson is special. You only need to watch the games to see what an outsized impact he has a runner and a receiver, and the extent to which defenses are already beginning to fear him.
Against Green Bay, he was at times a one-man wrecking crew. He piled up a career-high 124 yards on the ground—yes, it has only been two games, but it’s an impressive total—and reeled in four catches for 48 yards through the air. Even when he wasn’t the player the ball was actually going to, the justified fear of Robinson (and Desmond Ridder’s strong sell) led to a big play, as it on Ridder’s keeper for a touchdown. Atlanta generated 446 yards on the day; Robinson was responsible for about 39% of the team’s offensive output, 11 of the team’s 27 first downs, and two of their three successful fourth down conversions.
Simply put, the offense was more dynamic with Robinson touching the ball, and his presence is enough to wreak havoc even when he’s not slicing up opposing defenses. It’s not an exaggeration to say that without his two successful, kind of mind-blowing fourth down conversions, this game ends very differently for Atlanta.
Bijan Robinson picks up the big first down for the Falcons.— Arye Pulli (@AryePulli) September 17, 2023
Big decision to go for it on fourth down. pic.twitter.com/HHYAN1RLFC
As Atlanta gets better and better at finding matchups for Bijan to exploit and clever plays to spring him, the young back should only get more dangerous. The team has already recognized that simply running him between the tackles is a waste of his talent, and all that remains is to continue to refine when and how they get him the ball and when they pretend to give him the ball to set off alarms throughout opposing defenses. With tough units coming in Detroit and Jacksonville, the need to keep upping the ante and tapping into Robinson’s full potential will only become more apparent.
He’s already spectacular, though, and a major reason the Falcons are 2-0. For the second straight week, then, we can’t maintain any semblance of intrigue by pretending there were other players who deserved to be considered as the MVP for the team. That may change next week, but Bijan Robinson is your Week 2 MVP with the kind of all-around stellar performance that earned Jessie Bates the nod in Week 1.