After an outstanding 2016-2017 season with the success and accolades of prominent players Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the Atlanta Falcons look to have another favorable season. According to Good Morning Football, a football talk show on the NFL Network, the Falcons have one of the top four running back duos in the 32-team league: Devonta Freeman, sporting number 24, and Tevin Coleman, 26. The Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, and the Minnesota Vikings round out the top four.
Top RB duos in the NFL? The @gmfb crew has their picks.
How about yours? pic.twitter.com/4rhtVn9uTb
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) June 16, 2017
Going into the Super Bowl last season, the Falcons had arguably one of the best, if not the best, offense game in the league. Freeman and Coleman were a huge part of the Falcons’ success on the offensive line with a combined 2,482 yards, ranking the duo first for most combined yards. Freeman had 1,541 of those yards while Coleman had 941 yards under his belt. Coleman led Freeman, as well as the rest of the running backs in the NFL, in yards per touch and even surpassed Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants in yards per catch.
As for touchdowns, the dynamic duo were combined for 24 total touchdowns. Freeman scored 13 and Coleman scored 11, placing the pair at second in the league behind the Buffalo Bills. With passes from Matt Ryan, Freeman completed 54 catches to rank himself fifth in the league for running backs, while Coleman completed 31 catches for a combined total of 85 catches.
Freeman, a 24-year-old drafted from Florida State University, is locked in on performing even better this upcoming season. “We understand how to work and how to get better. I feel like we’re definitely going to be on that next level,” said Freeman per a tweet from the Atlanta Falcons’ Twitter account.
Throughout summer training, Freeman has been a constant hot topic for the Falcons with his work ethic, performance, and mindset for the approaching football season. Despite the Falcon’s first Super Bowl appearance in 18 years, Freeman has made it clear that the slate is clean going into the new season. “The easiest way to lose something is to think you got it,” Freeman tweeted with a photo of himself catching a pass.
The bigger question may not be whether the two running backs will continue to be laser focused and perform to such high standards, but rather, how new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will use Freeman and Coleman on the field to the Falcons’ best advantage. Looking at Sarkisian’s time spent with Washington University and University of Southern California, most of Sarkisian’s plays entailed running the ball rather than throwing, which could work out well for Freeman and Coleman.
“It’s been phenomenal. He’s the best coach,” Freeman said when asked about Sarkisian during a short media release at a Falcons’ mini camp. “I see a difference. As far as the bond, and the chemistry that we have, Sark tried to buy in as much as he could and we accepted him, and you know, he’s accepting us. You know, we’re all on the same page… We’re here to win and we’ve got Sark, so that’s all it’s about right now.”
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