Birds of a Feather…

By John Manasso
September 27, 2010

The numbers are something that looks like they were posted by Tom Osbourne’s Nebraska Cornhuskers, not an NFL team.

Over the last two weeks, the Falcons have rushed the ball 95 times for 423 yards, helping to rank them second in the league in rushing offense. Only a sub-par performance in Week 1 against Pittsburgh, owner of the NFL’s third-best rushing defense in total yards (tops is Chicago, which had yet to play its Week 3 game as of this posting), prevents the Falcons from leading the league, as they trail Kansas City by just 0.4 yards per game.

The numbers are a lot closer to how they looked in Falcons head coach Mike Smith’s first year in 2008, when the Falcons ranked second in the NFL in running attempts and finished 11-5. In going 9-7 last year, they trailed more and were forced to throw the ball to get back in games. Plus, top running back Michael Turner was not healthy for almost half the season.

This season, Turner has mostly been healthy (except for two-and-a-half quarters) and the Falcons have run the ball 120 times