The Atlanta Falcons are the most effective running team in the NFL; they lead the league almost every year in most yards per carry and rushing attempts too. So the three-headed monster featuring Mike Vick, to along with veteran Warrick Dunn and youngster Jerious Norwood, is a steady, balanced attack. Dunn will get you with the juke moves and cutbacks, while Vick has the blazing speed. But what does Mr. Norwood “wow” you with? Good question, and the answer is everything. A “true” number one RB needs to go inside and out.
Norwood can do that at 205 pounds going in between the tackles, and he has 4.4 speed averaging nearly 6 and a half yards per rush! He can take it to the house with that home-run ability shown against Arizona and Washington last year (78 & 69 yard touchdown runs.) Watch out for the Jackson, MS native, who played his college ball for the Bulldogs down at Mississippi State University. This former 3rd round pick is a second year pro who will turn more heads each time he touches the football. Keep your eyes open for this breakout performer who at the end of this season will deserve a loud “Encore” like Beethoven back in his “hay-day.” Dunn might be past his prime at the age of 32 (YPC went down from 5.1 to 4.0), and the Atlanta line is not too overwhelming for the opposition. The Falcons are looking for a tougher back and someone to give Vick a rest from his scrambling ways. Norwood’s 99 carries last season should be doubled this year, as he is a candidate to reach over 1,000 yards in ’07. Make sure he is high on your list for Fantasy Football also, and for young players to move up the charts as one of your favorite backs to watch in “Hotlanta.”