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Falcons relief stems from rediscovered run game

Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner runs the ball against Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright during the second quarter in their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in Atlanta Reuters

The Falcons have reason to feel relief, beyond finally getting the much-discussed playoff win.

The fact they found their run game again gives them reason to believe they might get another one.

For all the individual parts of Sunday’s comeback win over the Seahawks, their ability to run the way they used to was the most encouraging.

It just lets us breathe a little bit,” Falcons running back Michael Turner said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Now, we can go out there and play the way we’re capable of playing.”

Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers worked well in tandem, combining for 162 yards on 24 carries. The team’s 6.4 yards per carry average on the day was well over their 3.7-yard regular season average. It was also their season high, as they didn’t go over 146 in any regular season game.

In the old days, it would have been all Turner, but Rodgers added an outside component they had lacked, and it looked like a year spent experimenting finally paid off.

That they did it against a Seahawks defense which allowed 103.1 per game in the regular season was better news, but this week’s test is tougher. The 49ers were fourth in the league in rush defense this year, allowing 94.1 yards per game.

“When we have the type of offensive roster that we have, we feel like that we have the ability to throw the football and run it,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “It’s really going to be based on how people try to defend us.”

The 49ers are sound enough they don’t have to trick up their defense to stop people, but getting the run game going early could create opportunities for the Falcons potent passing game.

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9 Responses to “Falcons relief stems from rediscovered run game”
  1. fuglyflorio says: Jan 15, 2013 8:10 AM

    The Seahawks were an over-achieving, over-rated team. They had every break go their way including poor RG3 blowing up his knee in what was shaping up as a rout. Then they lose to the worst playoff team in NFL history. C’mon.

    They’re only tough at home where they can cheat with the fake engineered noise.

  2. skippynj says: Jan 15, 2013 8:42 AM

    My relief stems from passing a big ole’ falcon after a cup of coffee each morning.

  3. grendelg says: Jan 15, 2013 9:14 AM

    Keep hating, it just makes it feel better when we stuff your words back in your face.

    Keep pumping up the 49’ers too. Don’t think about how they couldn’t beat the Rams in 2 tries and only looked good against a suspect Packer’s D.

  4. seenoland54 says: Jan 15, 2013 9:16 AM

    Where have I heard rude responses like that before? Oh yes, Seattle fans last week, must be a left coast thing.
    Welcome to Georgia!
    now go home

  5. beckzhere says: Jan 15, 2013 10:13 AM

    The 49ers are a similarly schemed team as the Seahawks and I expect a similar result afterwards. But by all means doubters, please keep doubting as it just makes you wind up eating your words.

    I honestly can’t think of a better scenario than the Falcons winning the Superbowl in New Orleans. It’s a long way away, but certainly a possability. Go Falcons!

  6. suckmyhawk2012 says: Jan 15, 2013 11:48 AM

    Good luck repeating that rushing performance against the niners, their run D is fierce! Now, in saying that I really hope you guys win the Super Bowl..this coming from a Hawks fan but I really like Tony G and Matt Ryan

  7. adambballn says: Jan 15, 2013 11:57 AM

    Yes… I’m sure it was all Atlanta’s run game and had nothing to do with the fact that Clemons, Seattle’s best pass rusher and run stopper, tore his ACL in Washington the week before and the undersized Irving had to fill in for him on the line.

  8. ebrownwareagle says: Jan 15, 2013 1:00 PM

    John Abraham didn’t play Sunday our bestPass Rusher… So what was our excuse for winning?!

  9. cootschaos says: Jan 15, 2013 9:13 PM

    It’s going to be a tough match-up for sure.

    I will be there making sure the 49ers offense hears absolutely nothing but a loud screaming redneck. Hope my fellow Falcon fans in attendance will also Rise Up!

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