In Cordarrelle Patterson’s absence, the Atlanta Falcons’ rushing attack has not skipped a beat. In Week 6, the Falcons had three separate 50+ yard rushers on the day.
It was a dominant performance against a San Francisco 49ers defensive unit. The 49ers lost many starters before and during the contest, but the next-man-up mentality is imperative to winning in today’s NFL.
That said, an undrafted free agent for the Falcons has stepped up significantly.
Caleb Huntley is proving he can be the Falcons’ bell cow back.
Caleb Huntley was an undrafted free agent for head coach Arthur Smith’s team this past offseason. He turned heads in training camp, as his sheer strength captivated coaches and teammates alike.
On Sunday, he shouldered the load against one of the top defensive units in the NFL. He led the team with 16 carries and amassed 59 yards.
What’s more impressive than his bruising rushes is that the coaching staff is tasking him with more each week.
Caleb Huntley’s workload is steadily increasing.
Since being brought up from the team’s practice squad in Week 2, Huntley has seen a steady increase in his snap count percentage by the week:
- Week 2 – 5%
- Week 4 – 22%
- Week 5 – 24%
- Week 6 – 34%
This bodes well, as he is gaining trust within the offensive system. In addition to trust, the rookie’s confidence is also increasing by the week.
Moreover, Patterson’s return in the upcoming weeks may afford the rookie more rushing lanes as opposing defenses will have to contend with Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Cordarrelle in the receiving game.
All in all, the rise of Caleb Huntley benefits the entire offense moving forward. From powerful runs to goal-to-go situations, the former Ball State standout is slowly carving his niche at the NFL level.
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