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Tyler Allgeier Falcons
NFL

Is Tyler Allgeier Ready To Be Falcons’ Lead RB?

  • Justin Melo
  • October 3, 2022
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Atlanta Falcons rookie running back Tyler Allgeier experienced a breakout showing on Sunday. Allgeier powered the Falcons to their second consecutive victory, a shocking 23-20 upset win over the Cleveland Browns. Fellow Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson was placed on IR on Monday and will miss a minimum of four contests after exiting Sunday’s contest with a knee injury, the Falcons confirmed. Allgeier appears poised to thrive while serving as Atlanta’s lead ball carrier in the meantime.

The No. 151 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Allgeier carried the ball on 10 occasions while gaining a career-high 84 yards. Allgeier averaged an astounding 8.4 yards per carry. Allgeier’s highlight play of the day occurred via a 42-yard rush that featured a physical finish—Allgeier carried a defender on his back for 10-plus yards.

Allgeier also caught his lone target for an explosive 20-yard gain. Allgeier will undeniably see a heavier workload in Patterson’s absence. Allgeier was on the field for 51.7% of Atlanta’s second-half snaps, per CBS Sports. By comparison, fellow running back Caleb Huntley saw 41.4% of Atlanta’s snaps over the same time period. Huntley was officially added to Atlanta’s 53-man roster from the practice squad on Monday in a corresponding move. Huntley will play a role, but there’s no denying who Atlanta’s main ball carrier is going forward.

Patterson had seen 65 touches and targets through four contests and that number is somewhat misleading given his lessened workload against Cleveland. Patterson is a focal point of Atlanta’s offense and is currently averaging 15.5 touches per game. That’s a lot of newfound touches that are available. Expect Allgeier to benefit.

There’s additional reasoning for optimism regarding Allgeier’s outlook. Atlanta’s offensive line was absolutely dominant against the Browns. Their front five are beginning to gel and win the battle of the trenches with the desired consistency. The Falcons rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns on offense. They averaged nearly 6.0 yards per carry on 35 attempts. Atlanta’s offensive line won the line of scrimmage and created rushing lanes for their ball carriers to exploit all game long. The Browns’ defensive line was overmatched. Allgeier was the main beneficiary of their performance.

Falcons right guard Chris Lindstrom and right tackle Kaleb McGary earned overall grades of 97.1 and 89.5 respectively from Pro Football Focus for their individual performances Sunday. Lindstrom didn’t put a foot wrong and routinely blew his opponent off the line of scrimmage. The Falcons are now averaging 168.0 rushing yards per contest. It represents the fourth-highest mark across the league.

Sunday’s rushing performance was a welcome sight for Falcons head coach Arthur Smith. Coach Smith understands the benefits of possessing an effective rushing attack after coaching Derrick Henry in Tennessee. It’s an identity Smith has struggled to replicate in Atlanta due to lesser talent at the position, mixed with offensive line struggles. Atlanta’s offense becomes significantly easier to operate for all parties involved when they’re running the football efficiently. Perhaps the tide is beginning to turn in Atlanta’s favor.

Tyler Allgeier landed in an ideal situation from a lack-of-competition standpoint. Allgeier’s vision always made him a perfect scheme fit in Smith’s zone-based rushing offense. We’re beginning to witness the marriage between the two blossom.

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Justin Melo