The Atlanta Falcons are desperate to jump start a dreadful running game that rolled in at 30th in the NFL last season – and signed the former University of Georgia star to a $5.5 million contract for one year. Make no mistake about it, Todd Gurley was slowed by injury last season, he obviously wasn’t in his top form. Gurley racked up just 3.8 YDs /carry putting up 223 carries and 857 YDs – it was not a great season for the former 1300 YD rusher. Gurley, at 6-1, 225lbs, has the size to run with ferociousness and I still think he has enough speed to get by the LBs when getting through the hole. He is a hard runner, and Atlanta will be counting on him to be the football player that he was prior to last season, when he ran for 1251 YDs. If they could get 75% of that kind of production, 900-950 YDs, and 10-12 TDs would be pretty good.
The Falcons rushing offense has been far below average the past several seasons, and it showed no improving signs of life at any time in 2019. Falcons QB, Matt Ryan showed he could still make things happen last season with a bona fide pair of WRs with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley – adding Todd Gurley to the mix should be an immediate upgrade. There should be no shortage of firepower on the Falcons offense, and Atlanta won’t have to rely on 43 passing attempts /game this season.
Gurley should fill the void at RB on a Falcons offense that is still going to be led by former MVP Matt Ryan. Having 1300 YD WR, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley also pulling defenses is going to open things up. Ridley will really benefit from Gurley with the emergence of a punishing running threat. Having Gurley should help everyone involved – with the lineup we are looking at, it’s easy to think what the Falcons offense should be this season. They will have the option for a heavy dose of passing, if need be, and a formidable dose of running mixed in there – that is going to help all of their playmakers.
I understand questions about the health of his left knee will always be there, and probably will be questioned anytime he has a lower ended running game this season. His knee, which was surgically repaired when he played at Georgia, has been the weight on his shoulders for him for years – this is just yet another time to silence the doubters.
But there are still plenty of reasons to be confident.
The biggest will be his drive, and being able to have an opportunity to showcase himself as a bonafide RB again, after his alleged “demise” in LA.
Todd Gurley still has the ability to be a big-time playmaker. Atlanta has a group of very good players that can contribute, and take some pressure off him as well, which is going to help them all greatly. If Gurley stays healthy, Atlanta should end up as a top 6-7 scoring unit in the NFL, if not higher – and their running game will absolutely be ranked far higher than what they wound up last season.