Falcons present athletic challenges for the Commanders defense

The Falcons (5-6) like to run the ball as much as any other team in the NFL this season.

The Bears have run it more times; however, that has many times been when a called pass play breaks down, and quarterback Justin Fields takes off running.

The Falcons like the designed run and keep pounding the designed runs. Quarterback Marcus Mariota is also mobile and runs the ball a few times each game as well.

They run the ball well enough; they should not be mistakenly viewed as conservative and boring. In seven games this year the Falcons have scored at least 23 points and at least 27 points in five games.

Running the ball 361 times and gaining 1,753 rushing yards through 11 games, the Falcons are averaging 4.9 yards per carry. This translates to the Falcons ranking 3rd in rushing attempts out of 32 teams as well as 3rd in rushing yards in the NFL. The Falcons to no surprise, also rank 6th in the NFL in yards per rushing attempt.

The Falcons’ top rushers thus far this season are rookie Tyler Allgeier (110-498), Cordarrelle Patterson (86-454), Mariota (76-372) and Caleb Huntley (70-335). They are strong; they are athletic in their run game.

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith likes to show the zone read in his schemes, so Washington’s defensive ends must be careful in crashing down and losing all contain outside. If you’ve forgotten, think of the runs Daniel Jones has enjoyed against Washington in recent seasons on called zone-read runs.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire