“Running back by committee” isn’t some ahead of the curve concept like it was in 2008, when the New York Giants burst onto the scene with their three-headed monster attack (screams: say, do you remember). It’s almost standard in todays modern NFL. However, the Atlanta Falcons have had a more traditional bell cow approach with running back Cordarrelle Patterson. Sadly, that approach is now on hold for at least four weeks since Patterson was placed on IR. Could this spell trouble for the Falcons run game, or could this be the beginning of a new deadly trio?
We got a small taste of what life without Patterson could like and to be honest, it looked like a lot of fun (but please Cordarrelle, get back soon). In this article, we’ll decipher who the Earth, Wind and Fire of this potentially deadly trio are.
Earth: Caleb Huntley
The bruiser from Ball State is undoubtably the Earth of this running back trio for the Atlanta Falcons. Caleb Huntley looks like he eats nails for breakfast and has the running style to back it up. Once I saw that he was too swole to griddy, I knew the Falcons had a true power back on their hands.
Making his second appearance on the 53-man roster this year, Huntley took full advantage of his opportunity. He posted an impressive 10 ATT/56 YDS/1 TD stat line (per Pro Football Reference). At one point, Huntley had six straight runs, and by the end of it, you could see the Browns were sick of trying to tackle him. Look for the bruiser to be used just as often if not more next week against a tough Tampa front.
Wind: Tyler Allgeier
The rookie from BYU is the Wind of this potentially deadly trio. Tyler Allgeier profiles as more of a traditional every down back, and he displayed these skills this past Sunday. Not only did the rookie go for 10 attempts for 84 yards (8.4 YPC per Pro Football Reference), but he also hauled in a 20-yard reception. Not to mention, he also drug Grant Delpit on his back for 10 yards.
This kind of play is what many Atlanta Falcons fans had been hoping for after the running back was selected in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft. He’s listed as the RB1 on the roster heading into Tampa Bay, so expect to see Allgeier early and often.
Fire: Avery Williams
Nobody embodies the role of Fire for the Atlanta Falcons better than former Boise State returner and defensive back to running back convert, Avery Williams. It’s taken Avery a few weeks to find his role in this offense, and we should expect that trend to continue as he gets more comfortable with his new position. He’s mainly just been catching short passes and operating as a decoy.
That being said, fans have seen flashes from the player on special teams returns and this past week, it finally manifested on the offensive side of the ball. The gadget back had one explosive run for 21 yards to go along with his 18 yard punt return (per Pro Football Reference). While that’s not exactly a sustainable statistic to take to the bank, it’s a sign that he’s getting more comfortable in the offense.
Deadly Trio or One-Hit Wonders?
It’s going to take more than just one game to answer that question. The new committee will have at least four weeks to show what they’ve got while Patterson rests up. One thing that will help is the continued and much improved offensive line play.
A band is nothing without its backup singers and instrumentalist and none have been more instrumental to this running attack than them. Atlanta could have the makings of a classic band on their hands, only time will tell.
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