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Divide and Conquer: The running backs behind the Falcons' push to the postseason

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are very different backs—but also eerily similar—and their willingness to share the load this season has been a huge part of Atlanta's success.

Coach Dan Quinn stands before his Falcons in late December clutching a video remote in his right hand. His team has just won the NFC South by beating the Panthers and in a few days will clinch a first-round bye after toppling the Saints.

The coach hits PLAY and a 31-yard, fourth-quarter wheel route from Matt Ryan to running back Tevin Coleman against Carolina unspools on the projection screen—but Quinn fast-forwards through most of the action. What he wants his players to see is the end of the big gain, when Coleman's fellow yard-gobbler, Devonta Freeman, bounces up and down like a pogo stick on the sideline and then chases Coleman down the field as if pursuing a windblown Powerball ticket.