Falcons RB Rodgers: 'Powerful and agile'

  • Article by: NEW YORK TIMES
  • Updated: January 19, 2013 - 8:36 PM
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Seattle Seahawks' Red Bryant (79) tries to stop Atlanta Falcons' Jacquizz Rodgers (32).

Photo: David Goldman, Associated Press - Ap

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Last Sunday, from deep in his own territory, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan leaned over -- and over -- and handed off to the 5-foot-6 Jacquizz Rodgers. Rodgers burst through the line, shed a Seattle defender who had a fistful of his red jersey and came facemask to facemask with Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas.

The subsequent collision flattened Thomas but barely fazed Rodgers. The play, a 45-yard gain, "got everybody fired up," Rodgers' fellow tailback Michael Turner said.

Among the Falcons' skill-position players, Rodgers represents the only substantial variation between the current team, which beat Seattle 30-28 to earn a berth in Sunday's NFC Championship Game against San Francisco, and its predecessor, which fell in the wild-card round 24-2 to the New York Giants last year.

Rodgers joined Atlanta in 2011 as a low-cost draft pick (fifth round) out of Oregon State, but he was limited by that year's lockout, which delayed his immersion into pro football, and by an offensive coordinator, Mike Mularkey.

Under Dirk Koetter, Mularkey's successor, Rodgers' carries increased to 94, from 57, and his catches increased to 53, from 21.

"There have been diminutive backs in the NFL before," guard Justin Blalock said. "The thing about him is, he's powerful and agile."

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13
 
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