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Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson carried Falcons offense with top-10 run game. What's in store for 2024? -- Falcons Breakdown

The Falcons Breakdown series continues with a look at the construction of the running back room in Atlanta and what changes are to come in 2024. 


NOTE: The Falcons editorial team of Scott Bair, Tori McElhaney, Terrin Waack and Amna Subhan will analyze each position group during the "Falcons Breakdown" series, which evaluates how every position performed in 2023 and what to look for in 2024. Up next, the running backs.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The only major statistical categories the Atlanta Falcons offense managed to land in the top 10 at the end of the 2023 regular season were in thanks to its run game.

The Falcons finished with 522 carries for 2,159 yards and 14 touchdowns through their 17 games. They were No. 3 in rush attempts per game and No. 9 in rush yards per game. Their rushing touchdown count landed at No. 15.

Running back Bijan Robinson was the Falcons' leader on the ground. Good thing, too, since the organization used its No. 8 overall draft pick on Robinson in 2023. That return on investment is already trending in the right direction. So much so, Robinson set the franchise rookie record for total yards from scrimmage with 1,463 total.

The second-best runner on the team was Tyler Allgeier, who just completed his second season with the Falcons. The two tended to complement each other well.

Cordarrelle Patterson, meanwhile, checked in as the fourth-best rusher, falling behind quarterback Desmond Ridder. Patterson missed three games, though, due to a thigh injury. His usage, for that reason, never seemed as consistent as the others.

Still, even with the triple threat available to the backfield, the Falcons had more 1,365 passing yards than rushing. The reverse was the case in 2022, when the difference was just 19 yards, in favor of rushing. The Falcons' rush total dropped between the two seasons, too, even with the first-round addition.

2023 production:

Bijan Robinson: 17 game appearances | 214 carries for 976 yards and four touchdowns; averaged 57.4 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry | 58 receptions on 86 targets for 487 yards and four touchdowns; averaged 28.6 yards per game and 8.4 yards per reception | Four fumbles.

Tyler Allgeier: 17 game appearances | 186 carries for 683 yards and four touchdowns; averaged 40.2 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry | 18 receptions on 23 targets for 193 yards and a touchdown; averaged 11.4 yards per game and 19.7 yards per reception | Zero fumbles.

Cordarrelle Patterson: 14 game appearances | 50 carries for 181 yards; averaged 12.9 yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry | Nine receptions on 12 targets for 38 yards and a touchdown; averaged 2.7 yards per game and 4.2 yards per reception | One fumble.

Who stays: Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier

On the bubble: Cordarrelle Patterson

Biggest offseason question: Will Cordarrelle Patterson be on the Falcons roster in 2024? If so, how often will the three-headed monster be unleashed? Because in 2023, there were only four games in which Patterson, Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier were all productive — and the Falcons won three of those four, with the sole loss being the Week 18 loss to the New Orleans Saints. And by productive, each player totaled at least five carries for at least 10 yards. That's not asking for all that much out of the trio. So, figuring out a way to best attack with the three will be key, if there are indeed three.

If not, how can the Falcons better use Robinson? Yes, the rookie set a franchise record for a first-year player's yards from scrimmage. But there were often times when it felt like Robinson could've and should've been used more, especially in red-zone situations. It wasn't until Week 8 in the loss to the Tennessee Titans that Robinson scored a rushing touchdown. He already had two receiving touchdowns at that point. The two totals ended up matching by season's end, with four apiece, despite him having double the rushing vs. receiving yards. All four of his rushing touchdowns were inside the red zone, too, proving he's more than capable of punching it in. And yet, of his 214 carries, just 23 came within an opponent's 20-yard line. That's good for 10.7%.

Meanwhile, Allgeier was a workhorse in the red zone. Of his 186 carries, 36 were within the opponent's 20-yard line. That's good for 19.4%.

The Falcons, as a whole, ran 84 run plays in the red zone, leaving Allgeier with 42.9% and Robinson with 27.4%. Just to keep everyone involved here, Patterson had 10 carries within an opponent's 20-yard line, which is 11.9% of the Falcons' total.

One would think, a team would want to give the ball to its leading rusher when it matters most. Will the Falcons make a better effort of doing so in 2024?

MORE FALCONS BREAKDOWN: Quarterbacks | Tight ends released on Thursday

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