Falcons best bet: Put game in Turner's hands

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

I’m pretty sure Atlanta coach Mike Smith and offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey have their game plan already set for Sunday’s showdown in New England.

I’m also pretty sure they’re well aware of the value of running back Michael Turner, mostly because he was the first major free agent signed by the Falcons, he proved his worth last year and Atlanta is supposed to be a run-first team.

But, just in case Smith and Mularkey aren’t aware of that or have time to make some last-minute tweaks, they might want to consider the following, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:

I know the Falcons don't want to give Turner 376 carries, like they did last season. But this game is huge for the Falcons. Give Turner the ball at least 26 times. Heck, give him 35 carries. The Falcons can worry about Turner's number of carries later in the season.