SEATTLE -- Even after everything Cordarrelle Patterson did for the Falcons in 2021, he continues to be as dynamic a player as there is in the league in 2022... even as a 31-year-old running back.
In the Falcons 27-23 win over the Seahawks in Seattle, Patterson had a career day. He ran the ball for 141 rushing yards on 17 carries. More so, he averaged 8.3 yards a carry. He popped off a 40-yard run in the third quarter that helped set up the Falcons go-ahead score. But even without that 40-yard breakaway run, he still would have surpassed 100-rushing yards on the day.
It's the second time this year he's surpassed that total, and he doesn't show any sign of stopping.
Oh, and I'll mention again: He's doing this at 31 years old, and after a decade in the league at that.
Last year, the Falcons cracked the Cordarrelle Code. This year, they're proving 2021's production wasn't a fluke. And that the combination of Patterson, Arthur Smith and this Falcons offense is a match made in run-game heaven.
"Even at 31, he's continued to evolve," Smith said of Patterson. "He works to improve."
The Falcons didn't find immediate success against the Seahawks defense when putting the ball on the ground. It was a slow, methodical chipping away of the run defense's resolve.
That, and Kyle Pitts happened.
In the first half, Pitts had four catches for 82 total yards. According to both Patterson and Marcus Mariota, that production did wonders for the run game later on.
"Seattle did a great job early of kind of boxing us in, and we made some plays in the passing game," Mariota said. "Once you're able to do that it loosens it up, and our front did a great job of pushing the line of scrimmage. We found some ways to break runs and break the game open for us."
Patterson echoed this, and added there was something that began clicking for the Falcons offensive line once the run game got going.
"You know it's good when the offensive line is saying, 'Let's run this play. Let's run this play,'" Patterson said. "They (were) feeling themselves a lot today."
Smith added, though, that while the offensive line and Patterson worked hard to pound the ball on the ground, he was pretty pleased with the entire offensive operation in helping out the run game.
The head coach said he saw the effort everywhere that led to a 179-rushing yard performance. It was all 11 playing with a physicality Smith wants this offense to be known for.
"We do pride ourselves that everyone is out there blocking in our run game," Smith said. "We don't have receivers that take plays off. That's not our mindset. They go out there just like the linemen because it's a coordinated effort. Those guys were finishing."
It was something Patterson said he saw on his 40-yard pick up in the third, calling out Feleipe Franks and Avery Williams for their down field blocking: "They gave me the crease."
After the game, Smith said this win felt like a heavy weight fight. And with both teams pounding the ball the way they were, that comparison makes sense.
After all, Seattle had a 112-rushing yard attack. However, only one team's run game gave them enough separation to win a closely-contested game.
"They wanted to run the ball today," Smith said. "So did we, and we were the last team standing. So, yeah, I'm proud of our guys."
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks during Week 3.
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