ATLANTA – Tevin Coleman didn't even know he had a career-day on Sunday as the Falcons thumped the Arizona Cardinals (3-11) at home until following the game when head coach Dan Quinn told him.
"I didn't know until DQ told me," Coleman said following the 40-14 win. "I'm a humble guy and it's real amazing to feel that."
Rushing for 145 yards and one touchdown certainly explains the feeling.
The Falcons (5-9) finished with 215 yards on the ground – their best performance on the ground in 2018. So, what changed for a unit that had been struggling to run the ball for majority of the season?
"It was just a lot energy out there," Coleman said. "The guys came out with energy, I came out with energy. They got on their blocks, they made big holes for me."
Quinn, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and Matt Ryan have expressed the importance of establishing the run game for Atlanta's offense to be at its best.
As Julio Jones explained, when an offense is having success running the ball like the Falcons did, a defense has to put another safety in the box. This leaves one-on-one matchups for the receivers on the outside, making the game a lot "easier" for a receiver like Jones.
That type of balance gave the Cardinals defense all sorts of problems as the success on the ground opened up the Falcons' passing attack. Seven different players caught passes for Atlanta, totaling 231 yards through the air.
Jones praised the effort of Coleman and the entire unit. This was the third career 100-yard game for Coleman and his 65-yard run was a career-best as well.
"He did a great job for us today," Jones said. "Offensive line did a great job. He's a special running back, great speed, great vision. If he sees it, he's going to hit and make you pay for it."
And Coleman did just that.
All week Quinn said the message to his team was about making sure they limited their self-inflicted wounds and matched their focus with their fight.
When asked what was the difference in the energy level as opposed to other weeks, Coleman said it came down to one thing:
"Focus. That's what we had on our brains, that's what we had in our minds."
The Falcons face the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday afternoon for the last home game of the 2018 season. Get your inside look here.