RB Mike Cox - Atlanta Falcons
|6-0, 252||Born: 7-11-1985||College: Georgia Tech||Drafted: ---|
Week 21: vs New England Patriots
Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. Falcons C Alex Mack (ankle, fibula) was limited in practice Monday, January 30, but is expected to see more work as the week progresses, according to head coach Dan Quinn. Mack's presence is key for the Atlanta offensive line, which averaged 4.6 yards per rush during the 2016 regular season, while ranking fifth in the NFL averaging 120.5 rushing yards generated per game. The attack has been less productive so far during the post-season (averaging 100 yards rushing per game at 3.4 yards per carry), but with dual threat backs like Devonta Freeman (14/45/1 rushing and five targets for 4/80/0 receiving vs. Seattle in the Divisional round; 14/42/0 rushing and five targets for 4/42/1 receiving vs. Green Bay in the Conference Championship) and Tevin Coleman (11/57/0 rushing and four targets for 3/22/1 receiving vs. Seattle; 11/29/1 rushing with three targets for 3/35/0 receiving vs. Green Bay), the total yardage generated by the running backs has been robust despite the sub-four-yards-per-carry average. Atlanta's Dynamic Duo come into the Super Bowl playing very well indeed. New England held the Texans to 23/105/0 rushing during their 16-34 win at Foxboro during the Divisional round of the playoffs, and then limited the LeVeon Bell-deprived Steelers to 20/54/1 rushing during the Conference Championships (they've averaged 79.5 rushing yards allowed per game so far in the post-season, with just one rushing score given out). New England wound up 2016 regular season ranked third in the NFL (tied with New York Giants) averaging 88.6 rushing yards allowed per game, with just six rushing scores given out all year (least rushing TDs allowed in the NFL over 16 games), and Houston didn't add to that total last weekend. The Patriots averaged a mere 10.4 fantasy points per game allowed during Weeks 15-17, also least allowed in the NFL during that time span. The Patriots are playing very tough rush defense during post-season, in line with their top-five finish during regular season. This is a tough matchup for the Atlanta running backs.