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Cardinals vs. Falcons: Atlanta has difficulties with short yardage, says Dirk Koetter

Michael Turner finished with 15 yards on 13 carries in a 31-27 loss to the Saints.

Wesley Hitt

While the Falcons were able to score points in a 31-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints, the offense was made one-dimensional as it struggled to find any room on the ground. Michael Turner earned only 15 yards rushing on 13 carries and Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter called the short-yardage running a problem for the team in an interview with D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"We need to run the ball more efficiently as a team. It doesn't matter who the runner is. When you look at the tape on the majority of Mike Turner's runs in the game the other day, he had no chance. We had free runners at the point of attack."

During the loss, the Falcons instead turned to Matt Ryan and allowed the quarterback to throw 52 times for 411 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. They turned to the ground game for only 18 carries, as Jacquizz Rodgers was seemingly the only one that found success on the ground.

The second-year back finished with 29 yards on just three carries, including an 18-yard run that drew praises from Koetter:

"That was a nice run. He did a nice job. That was a pretty play. We needed one more. We needed one more of those."

The Falcons will host the Cardinals in Week 11, a team that is ranked No. 2 in the NFL against the pass, but No. 24 against the run.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.