How Steven Jackson helps Atlanta

Steven Jackson will bring another good red zone option to Atlanta's offense. ZUMA Press/Icon SMI

The release of Michael Turner last week confirmed what anyone with eyes knew: The Atlanta Falcons needed a new bell cow in their backfield. After finishing 29th in rushing DVOA in 2012, Atlanta had to replace Turner, who had morphed from a punishing back to a dump truck incapable of getting any burst over the past few seasons. (DVOA is Football Outsiders' defense-adjusted value over average metric, explained here.) Turner ranked 37th out of 43 backs by DVOA, and he was saved from ranking worse only by the fact that the Falcons gave more of his carries to Jacquizz Rodgers over the second half of the season, spotting Turner extra rest and more favorable situations.

To fix this problem, the Falcons reportedly have signed Steven Jackson to a three-year contract. How will he upgrade Atlanta's offense?