USA TODAY Sports
Some thought the vet was washed up, but he showed life Sunday.
Michael Turner looked like "The Burner" once again Sunday.
Turner looked energized in the Atlanta Falcons' 30-28 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon in the Divisional round of the NFC playoffs. Turner rushed for 98 yards on 14 carries, which worked out to seven yards per carry. His longest rush of the day was 33 yards.
But as Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus mentions, the line in front of him was a big reason why Turner looked so good:
There has been no end of attention focused on Michael Turner's (+2.4) struggles and decline in Atlanta with seemingly nobody drawing the connection that his decline mirrored that of the blockers in front of him. This game showed that when those players have a good day, Turner can still rumble and gain yardage just like he used to. Three of his five offensive linemen graded in the green for their run blocking in this game and unusually TE Tony Gonzalez also did his fair share of the heavy lifting in that regard too. The result was that Turner rushed for 98 yards on 14 carries, forcing five missed tackles and racking up a good portion of those yards after contact, once he had a head of steam.
Jazquizz Rodgers was hard to stop too, rushing for 64 yards on 10 carries. Essentially, the Seahawks couldn't stop the Falcons' ground game and the big boys up front are the reason why.
While Turner and Rodgers did what they wanted Sunday, a heralded back for Seattle didn't have the same success.
Marshawn Lynch put out one of his worst performances of the season against the Falcons. Lynch rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, working out to just 2.9 yards per carry.
His yards per carry mark was the third-worst of the season. Lynch rushed for at least 100 yards in 11 games this season -- including 132 against the Washington Redskins last week -- but he was a non-factor against the Falcons' defensive line.
Lynch rushed for less than 50 yards just three times this season: Sunday against the Falcons, against Miami in November, and against the Patriots in October. The Seahawks were 1-2 this season when Lynch didn't have at least 50 rushing yards.
Russell Wilson certainly did not look like a rookie Sunday.
Wilson was the sparkplug of the Seahawks' offense, one that had to fight to erase a 20-0 Falcons lead at halftime. Wilson completed 24-of-36 passes for 385 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also was a factor on his feet, running for 60 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
But perhaps Wilson's greatest accomplishment Sunday was how he handled the blitz. When the Falcons blitzed him, Wilson's quarterback rating was a near-perfect 148.4, according to Pro Football Focus. It didn't happen often (nine times), but when the Falcons sent extra men, Wilson handled it like a veteran.