Some predicted it, but few expected it would be so pronounced. The decline of Atlanta Falcons' RB Michael Turner has been so precipitous that he's a shadow of his former self, and looks nothing like a 1,000 yard back. He still has the size, and hits the hole with power, but Turner looks no longer able to keep his legs chugging through tackles, which has been his trademark for the last 5 years. Now those classic six-to-seven yard gains are ending at just three yards, and the running game is dying.
In his stead RB Jacquizz Rodgers is not an every-down back, but the Falcons use him out of the backfield as a receiver, and as a change of pace back. To this end he's very effective. Will he hurt the Panthers on every down? Probably not, but he will be enough to make them respect the run. If he's given too much room he will hurt the Panthers, and as last game showed us even the most pedestrian of backs can look like a Superstar against Carolina,