Holes Expected For Muscle HamsterNovember 20th, 2012
There’s no denying the Falcons are soft against the run.
And Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter already is sounding the alarm in Atlanta while exploring how the Falcons possibly will contain Doug Martin when they’ve struggled against lesser running backs.
Stephens-Howling was the third back to rush for more than 100 yards against the Falcons this season, joining Denver’s Willis McGahee (113 yards) and Washington’s Alfred Morris (115 yards).
Fortifying the run defense remains an ongoing construction project for the coaching staff. In eight of the Falcons’ 10 games, the defense has given up at least one run of 29 yards or more.
Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles had a 46-yard gain. McGahee had a 31-yarder. San Diego’s Jackie Battle broke loose for a 52-yard gain. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton had a 31-yard run. Morris had a 29-yard run. Oakland’s Mike Goodson had 40-yard gain.
Yes, the Falcons get gutted and gashed on the ground — 26th in the NFL against the run — but there’s also no denying the Falcons are a great football team. Hell, Mike Smith’s career regular-season record is 52-22! That’s better than a 70 percent winning percentage, which is simply amazing in the NFL.
The Bucs absolutely need a big day Sunday from Muscle Hamster. Thankfully, that seems likely. But the Bucs will need to be strong in all phases to pull out a victory.
Lord knows Bucs fans are still stunned by the Maurice Stovall non-tackle of Eric Weems that cost the Bucs a playoff berth in 2010. (Here’s the heinous video of that historic choke)