Originally posted on The Penalty Flag  |  Last updated 1/2/12

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 08: Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons rushes upfield past London Fletcher #59 of the Washington Redskins at Georgia Dome on November 8, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The Atlanta Falcons have advanced to the playoffs for the third time in Head Coach Mike Smith’s four-year tenure there. As the Falcons prepare to face off against the New York Giants this weekend there are certain trends that bear watching. Trends that may have a long reaching affect on this year’s Super Bowl picture. Regardless of the score Atlanta can’t abandon the run. The Falcons have made the playoffs every year that Michael Turner has rushed for over 1,000 yards. In his four years with the team, Atlanta has won 22 of the 25 games where Turner rushed for 100 yards or more. That is an 88% winning percentage when he surpasses 100 yards rushing. Of the 36 games where he has failed to reach 100 yards Atlanta came away with only 19 wins. Their winning percentage drops to 52.8%. In Atlanta’s first two playoff games Turner had a combined 81 yards rushing and the Falcons lost both games. Starting to see a pattern? Turner has had problems in the past eclipsing the 100-yard mark when facing good run defenses but the Giants were ranked 19th against the run this year. The Giants didn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher this [...]
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