Atlanta Falcons: 3 Players that must shine vs. Texans in Week 5

Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images /
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Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images /

2. Falcons running backs

Although this isn’t a specific player, another thing that the Atlanta Falcons are going to need to see step up in Week 5 against the Houston Texans is their running back group and their ability to help the Atlanta offense on the ground. In last week’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Falcons running back corps had a tough outing in the loss at home in Atlanta.

The Falcons ended up finishing the game with a total of 58 yards rushing and one touchdown to counter quarterback Matt Ryan and Atlanta’s passing game. As a group, that just isn’t enough to get the job done, even if their offense tends to be pass-heavy throughout the course of a game.

In that loss to Tennessee, Atlanta was led by Devonta Freeman with a total of 28 yards rushing on the ground on 12 total carries. Freeman specifically wilI have to have himself a good game in Week 5 to help pace the Falcons’ run game.

On the season, Atlanta has struggled running the ball through four games and its statistics and ranking among other teams throughout the NFL reflects that.

As mentioned, the Falcons tend to be a pass-heavy offense, but they have managed to average just 70.2 yards on the ground running the ball per game so far this season, which ranks sixth-worst in the league. With a total of 281 yards rushing on the year, Atlanta has run for just one rushing touchdown entering the fifth week of the regular season.

Another layer to all of this and specifically how it relates to the Week 5 game against Houston is the fact that the Texans have had somewhat of a hard time stopping the run through four contests this season, which opens the door for the Falcons to potentially have a breakout game on the ground.

Coming into the showdown on Sunday, Houston has allowed opposing offenses to average 104.5 yards rushing per game, which ranks 16th in the NFL. It has, however, held opposing running backs to finding the endzone just twice this year.

On Sunday in Houston, the Falcons are going to have to have their running game step it up a notch to help make the passing game that much more dangerous while attempting to steal a game on the road against the Texans.