FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Michael Turner used to be Mr. Reliable for the Atlanta Falcons.
Hand off the ball and watch him churn out the yards.
But the big back’s production is way down this season, a change of direction that was planned from the start but has been even more pronounced that anyone expected. Even Turner, who says he didn’t know his carries would be cut so significantly.
He’s on pace to gain about 900 yards, far off his last four seasons in Atlanta. He gained 1,699 yards in 2008, and more than 1,300 yards each of the last two years.
Despite Turner’s drop-off, the Falcons (11-2) have already clinched the NFC South and hope to move a step closer to home-field advantage when they host the New York Giants (8-5) on Sunday.