When the Atlanta Falcons signed Cordarrelle Patterson in the offseason most people immediately saw it as a huge boost for the special teams unit – after all, he is the greatest kick returner in NFL history – but not many saw him having a major role in the offense.
One of the more surprising things when we saw the Falcons debut, was how consistently they used Patterson on offense and how effective he was.
Falcons have more confidence in Patterson than many expected.
Many Falcons fans saw Cordarrelle listed as a runningback and thought something along the lines of “Right….. he should just be listed as a gadget player.”
It was apparent in the first game that that could not be further from the truth.
Will he line up out wide a few times a game? Definitely, but Arthur Smith seems set on having him handle a big load out of the backfield.
While seven rushes for 54 yards does not seem like a lot, it does not take into account the flow of the game. The Falcons basically abandoned the running game later in the matchup, as they were down by a significant amount. In fact, four of those seven rushes came in one possession early in the game.
The other shocking thing was just how effective Patterson was when given the ball. He ended the game averaging just under eight yards per carry, compared to Mike Davis’s three yards per carry.
Not many people saw that coming.
This is not a knock on Davis, as he did have a few impressive runs and a few where he had basically zero chance to get past the line of scrimmage, Patterson was just able to get more total yards in the end.
It is hard to know if Arthur Smith will continue to use Patterson in a big way or not, but the odds are is that he will. With the Falcons only having three runningbacks on the roster at the moment, those top-two guys will be counted on a lot throughout the season.