Atlanta Falcons: 3 Players that must shine vs. Buccaneers in Week 12

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 14: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 14: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images /

1. Falcons running game

Although this isn’t a specific player, Atlanta’s running attack in its entirety is going to have to put together a strong performance at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When you look at how the Falcons running game has performed alongside Matt Ryan and the passing attack so far this season, Atlanta has been relatively decent on the ground through 11 weeks of action in the 2019 campaign.

Led by Devonta Freeman as their leading running back, the Falcons have shown the ability to hurt opposing squads on the running game to try and balance the flow of things offensively so they aren’t just primarily forced to throw the ball throughout the game.

But while Freeman continues to battle back from an injury he suffered a few weeks ago, Atlanta’s running game has taken a bit of a step back while it awaits the return of its primary running back in the backfield.

An example of those struggles on the ground was put on display in the Week 11 victory on the road against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, with the Falcons tallying a total of just 54 rushing yards while being held out of the endzone in the 29-3 win.

With Freeman out, Brian Hill was pushed into the starting running back role for Atlanta, leading the team in the win with 15 rushes for a total of 30 yards. Kenjon Barner added 15 yards rushing on two carries and Qadree Ollison added four rushes for 11 yards.

While we wait for the official word on Freeman and his status for this Sunday’s contest against the Buccaneers at home, one big question mark going into the matchup is how the running game will look and if they will be able to step up in Week 12.

20 Bold predictions for NFL Week 12. dark. Next

In order to balance things out within the offensive flow and make this offense more explosive and dangerous, the Falcons are going to need their running back group to step up and shine at Mercedes Benz Stadium this Sunday afternoon to try and pull out another win.