Turner Continues to Re-Write Falcons History

Turner Continues to Re-Write Falcons History

Jay Adams

Published November 28, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Running back Michael Turner burst into the end zone on Sunday against Tampa Bay in the second half and, in turn, burst to the top of yet another record in the annals of Falcons history.

His touchdown Sunday marked the 57th of his career with the Falcons — significant because it’s tied for the most touchdowns ever with the franchise with wide receiver Terance Mathis. It’s a virtual certainty that the record will fall completely into Turner’s possession by the end of the season, if not by the end of the week, putting yet another stamp on an impressive five-year career in Atlanta.

Whenever Turner’s career ends in Atlanta, he’ll leave with his name above the all-time great running backs in franchise history. William Andrews, Gerald Riggs, Jamal Anderson and Warrick Dunn have all had team records fall to Turner.

It’s not something he’s thought a lot about, but he knows one day he’ll be able to take it all in.

“I never thought I’d be up there,” Turner said Tuesday. “I just kept working every year, just trying to get better and just do my job.”

And his job translated into etching his name into the record books.

Turner holds eight distinguished records in those books by himself or with another player, and it looks soon to be nine.

Turner has the following records:

  • Most rushing yards in a game: 220 vs. Detroit on 9/7/08
  • Most career rushing touchdowns: 56 (Riggs is second with 48)
  • Most career 100-yard games: 27 (Riggs is second with 25)
  • Most points scored in a game: 24 (tied with TJ Duckett; Turner’s 24 points came against Carolina on 11/23/08)
  • Most touchdowns in a season: 17 (Anderson is second with 16)
  • Most rushing touchdowns in a game: 4 (tied with Duckett; Turner’s four TDs came against Carolina on 11/23/08)
  • Most touchdowns in a game: 4 (same as rushing touchdowns in a game mark)
  • Most consecutive games with a touchdown: 7 (2009)

“It’s unbelievable,” said center Todd McClure, who has blocked for Turner, Anderson, Dunn and Duckett. “It just shows the type of work ethic he has and determination. When we get down there and get it close, he’s going to get it in. It’s just unbelievable, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Aside from the records, Turner has been an integral part of the movement of the offense in the past five seasons.

Coming in during quarterback Matt Ryan’s rookie season, Turner dominated in the run game with 1,699 yards that year (good enough for third all-time behind Anderson and Riggs) and his record-setting 17 touchdowns.

The pressure that took off the young quarterback can’t be overstated.

“Mike’s been huge in my career,” Ryan said. “He’s been a staple of our organization for the last five years. Especially early on in my career, having that running game, knowing that you can turn around and hand the ball to him and he’s going dominate games, that’s been huge. He’s a great teammate; very unselfish, and a guy that brings great energy to the locker room every day.”

In total, on top of the soon-to-be nine records, Turner is on the list for:

  • Most yards gained in a career (fourth behind Riggs, Andrews and Dunn)
  • Most yards gained in a season (third behind Anderson and Riggs)
  • Most 1,000-yard seasons (tied for second with Dunn and Riggs)
  • Most yards gained in a game (he holds the top two spots in this category)
  • Most rushing attempts (fifth behind Riggs, Dunn, Anderson and Andrews)
  • Most rushing attempts in a season (third behind Anderson and Riggs)
  • Most 100-yard games in a season (third behind Anderson and Riggs)
  • Highest average gain in a career with a minimum of 750 carries (second behind Andrews)
  • Highest average gain in a season with a minimum of 150 carries (second behind Dunn)

With the record he’s most proud of looking to be on the edge of shattering, Turner is more tuned in to how the team is performing, but the importance of this one record and what he’s meant to Falcons history in his five seasons so far is something that he will carry with him.

“It’s going to be a great feeling,” Turner said about possibly becoming the Falcons’ all-time touchdown leader. “I just can’t think about it too much. I’ll just go out there and keep doing what I’ve been doing every week and when it happens, I’ll look back on it later.”

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