Georgia football fans that also cheer for their hometown Atlanta Falcons have been clamoring for Todd Gurley to come back to Georgia. It finally happened. Here is what to expect out of him.
The Atlanta Falcons just made the best Public Relations move it could have possibly made.
The seats in Mercedes-Benz Stadium were pretty empty last year and those in their seats were either booing the product on the field or sitting quietly. It has been a while since the Falcons could say they have had a true home-field advantage. Enter Georgia football legend Todd Gurley.
Gurley is a football legend around Georgia and for good reason. The Tarboro, North Carolina native was a four-star recruit coming out of high school. Georgia was able to beat out Clemson and North Carolina State for Gurley’s services. The rest is history as he sits No. 4 on Georgia’s all-time rushing leader board with 3,285 yards.
Only Herschel Walker, Nick Chubb, and Sony Michel have had better rushing careers at Georgia.
In 2015, Gurley left Georgia to pursue an NFL career. He was drafted No. 10 overall by the (at the time) St. Louis Rams. He had his best season as a pro back in 2017 when he rushed for 1,305 yards and added another 788 receiving yards. He had 2,093 total yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns and won NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
He had a similar season in 2018, rushing for 1,251 yards and adding 580 receiving yards. Proving that he was not just a runner, but an all-purpose threat. Gurley added 21 touchdowns to his 1,831 total yards that season. However, all was not good for Gurley in 2018, it was also discovered that he has arthritis in his knee, which came into play in the postseason.
Gurley’s 2017 season may be a sign of things to come. He carried the ball just 223 times for 857 yards. He also caught the ball 31 times for 207 yards. He totaled 1,064 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns.
Even though he is just 25 years old Gurley’s health is in decline. He is no longer the lead back that he used to be. He is best used in a reserve role where he is a short-yardage and change of pace back. I expect the Falcons to approach their running game with a running back by committee.
Gurley’s health is not the only question though. Atlanta’s offensive line is one of the worst in the league. Here is how the Falcons’ offensive line and the Rams’ compare from 2019.
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Adjusted Line Yards:
- Atlanta 3.97 No. 24
- Los Angeles 4.26 No. 19
Running Back Yards Per Carry:
- Atlanta 3.73
- Los Angeles 3.80
Power Success Rank:
- Atlanta 65% No. 18
- Los Angeles 65% No. 20
- Atlanta 21% No. 27
- Los Angeles 21% No. 26
Second Level Yards:
- Atlanta 1.08 No. 25
- Los Angeles 1.23 No. 14
Open Field Yards:
- Atlanta 0.52 No. 27
- Los Angeles 0.44 No. 29
As you can see, there are not many differences between the two offensive lines. Add that into Gurley’s knee issues and you have what accumulates possibly into a low-risk high-reward one year $5,000,000 contract.
So, Falcons fans, Georgia fans, celebrate. Gurley has officially replaced Vic Beasley on the Falcons’ roster. We can only speculate at this time what that will mean in terms of on the field success, but the dream has become a reality. We got him.