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Falcons ranked No. 1 in NFL in yards before contact on gap runs

The Atlanta Falcons offensive line was more efficient last year on gap runs than any other unit in the NFL.

According to Zoltan Buday at Pro Football Focus, Atlanta averaged 2.83 yards before contact on gap concept rushes in 2016, which ranked first in the league. They also averaged a total of 5.10 yards per carry on those plays, which ranked second most behind only the Buffalo Bills.

The five most successful teams on this play were Atlanta, Buffalo, Washington, New Orleans, and Houston as all of these teams’ running backs averaged more than 2.0 yards before contact on gap scheme runs. In fact, Atlanta was not far from an average of 3.0 yards before contact as they led all teams at 2.83 on their 77 gap scheme runs thanks to speedy backs that could take advantage of big holes opened up by the blocking.

Atlanta also did quite well on outside zone runs, averaging 5.02 yards per carry and 2.22 yards before contact.

If Steve Sarkisian can keep this trend going, the Falcons run game should be every bit as potent in 2017 as it was last season.

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