Antone Smith continues to make big plays in Atlanta

Good things happen when Falcons running back Antone Smith touches the ball.

Thing is, it barely happens. This season, Smith — as a runner and receiver — has touched the ball a total of 17 times, with 11 of them being rushes and six being receptions. But he's averaging 16.29 yards per touch and has a total of 277 total yards and four touchdowns.

His per-touch average is staggering when compared to his fellow Falcons running backs. Starting running back Steven Jackson is averaging just 4.09 yards per touch. Backup Jacquizz Rodgers is averaging 4.57 yards per touch and rookie Devonta Freeman is averaging 5.68 yards per touch.

When comparing Smith to Jackson, Smith has had runs of 38 and 48 yards this season. He also has receptions that have gone for 54 and 74 yards. Jackson's longest rush thus far is 17 with his longest reception going for 11. Freeman is the only other running back on the roster to have a carry of more than 20 yards (24 against the Giants).

In Atlanta's 30-20 loss to the Giants on Sunday, Smith took a screen pass from quarterback Matt Ryan and broke a tackle before rumbling for a 74-yard touchdown. Big plays have been a consistent part of Smith's game.

Five games in, it's becoming clear that Smith needs to get the ball more in this Falcons' offense. A consistent home-run threat, the results are evidence of this need for Atlanta.

Follow me on Twitter: @JasonHButt

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