Arthur Smith deserves credit for highlighting Cordarrelle Patterson’s offensive prowess

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The Falcons’ offense finally looked competent against the Washington Football Team as Matt Ryan had one of his best games in recent memory. Still, the inability to run the ball late in the fourth quarter combined with the conservative approach of Arthur Smith led to the Falcons’ demise.

Before Washington, the offense had massive struggles. From establishing the run to taking deep shots and poor decision-making, Smith’s group has fallen short thus far. It is a small sample size, but the offense hasn’t been what it was advertised to be coming into the season. The minimal success it has experienced can be mostly attributed to one player.

Cordarrelle Patterson is the primary reason why the offense has been able to score at all, and his head coach acknowledged that after the Week 3 victory over the Giants. “He’s making an impact, and it’s fun to work with guys like that. Allows you to be creative. He can handle it. We named him our player of the game on offense,” Smith said. “He’s made a huge impact. He was a game captain this past week. Just really enjoyed getting to work with CP and to see where it goes from here.”

Against Washington, Patterson had the best offensive outing in his career. He scored three touchdowns on 116 yards from scrimmage and is clearly becoming a focal point of Smith’s offense. Patterson is incredibly versatile, able to play running back and wide receiver, which he showed in three different ways while scoring touchdowns on Sunday.

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A lot of this has to be accredited to Arthur Smith. Even though he’s made head-scratching decisions, he should be given his flowers for his vision of how to use Patterson. Nobody before Smith and this Falcons coaching staff had the ability to make him a staple of their offense, and Atlanta is reaping the rewards.

The first touchdown came on a post/over route combination with Patterson lined up out wide and getting behind the Washington defender. The second touchdown came later in the first half on an out route when Patterson was aligned in the backfield. He showed the physicality he runs with on this play, breaking the first tackle and diving past the goal line. Patterson then lines up on the boundary again in the second half where he recorded his third touchdown of the day on a back shoulder fade that he perfectly high pointed.

Patterson can threaten defenses in more ways than one, as he always has, and Smith absolutely deserves credit for utilizing him the way he has through four weeks. The Falcons may not have many brightspots, but Smith’s use of Patterson is certainly a radiant one.

 

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