The Falcons‘ offense got off to a slow start on Sunday against the Buccaneers, trailing by 21 points at one point. But Arthur Smith never got away from running the football, a staple of this offense. Atlanta ranks near the top of the league in every rushing metric and added 151 yards to their total in Week 5, 98 of which came in the second half on 20 second-half rushes. They ran the ball 31 times altogether with Cordarrelle Patterson out of the lineup for the first time all season, and it was rookie Tyler Allgeier who received a bulk of the workload out of the backfield and is now one of PFF highest graded rookie running backs.
Highest graded rookie RBs, via PFF (min. 15 carries):
1. Dameon Pierce (75.1)
2. Tyler Allgeier (73.5)
3. James Cook (69.4)
4. Jaylen Warren (62.1)
T5. Isiah Pacheco (61.4)
T5. Breece Hall (61.4)
— Sam Hoppen (@SamHoppen) October 12, 2022
Allgeier led the running back by committee approach last week, carrying the ball 13 times for 45 yards on 59% of the offenses’ snaps. Since Damien Williams went down in Week 1, the rookie out of BYU has been an excellent piece for Arthur Smith’s offense. On the year, Allgeier has rushed the ball 39 times for 184 yards, including seven first downs. He’s also added 25 yards through the air on two receptions, both of which were first downs. But what separates Allgeier from many other rookie running backs is his ability to hold up in pass protection; that cannot be overlooked and is an extremely valuable asset.
Without Cordarrelle Patterson for the next few weeks, the Falcons will rely on Tyler Allgeier more but expect Caleb Huntley and Avery Williams to also get touches out of the backfield. Huntley touched the ball eight times for 34 yards on Sunday while playing 24% of the offensive snaps. Williams, who had a touchdown run on Sunday, took 26% of the snaps. The Boise State product carried the ball three times for 11 yards and was targeted twice, hauling in both passes for 10 yards.
Against the Browns last week, Huntley and Allgeier ran all over Cleveland’s defense when Patterson went down. Both backs carried the ball 10 times in Week 4, combining for 140 yards on the ground. Allgeier led the way with 84 yards, while Huntley added another 56 yards and a touchdown. Against an incredibly talented 49ers defense in Week 6, the Falcons are going to rely heavily on the ground game; hopefully, this young backfield is up for the task.