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Cory's Corner: Eddie Lacy is the Packers' playoff glue

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Cory's Corner: Eddie Lacy is the Packers' playoff glue

The Packers' offense has been about as consistent as a dial-up Internet connection this year.

And one of the biggest offenders has been Eddie Lacy. The third-year back has battled injuries, production and playing time.

But he can put all that behind him with a turnaround performance in the desert.

It all starts with the third down conversion rate. The Packers converted just 34 percent (70-for-208) during the regular season and stayed consistent by converting 33 percent (3-for-11) after last week’s wild card game.

In order for the Packers to sniff victory, Lacy has to set the table. He must get significant yardage on first and second down in order to give Green Bay a chance. Which is reassuring, because 722 of his 758 yards have come on first and second down.

But it’s not that easy.

First, coach Mike McCarthy must be diligent in giving the ball to Lacy. He cannot get seven carries on the first drive like he did in the season finale vs. Minnesota, only to get six more carries the rest of the game.

“If we’re successful early in the game running the ball, then our play-caller is going to get back to it,” said Packers left guard Josh Sitton. “We got to execute. When we’re successful running the ball, we’re usually successful in the game.”

When the Packers got trucked three weeks ago in Glendale, they faced 10 third downs with six yards or longer to go. It’s pretty easy to defend a team when you can load up to drill the quarterback.

And that — combined with a leaky and inexperienced offensive line — led to Aaron Rodgers getting sacked eight times, including losing a couple of fumbles that were returned for touchdowns.

There’s no way around it. Lacy has to show up in order to continue the season. And yes, his ribs are banged up. And yes, many feel that the Cardinals are the best team remaining in this Super Bowl tournament.

But last week, Lacy looked strong. And let’s not forget swift and elusive as he tallied his longest run of the season with a 30-yard rumble off left tackle on first down. And that came a play after running for 11 yards on fourth-and-1.

Lacy has looked confused and indecisive at times at the line of scrimmage. However, he looked different last week by approaching the hole with the assertiveness to knock over anything that got in his way.

But it all comes down to trust. McCarthy must continue to trust that defenses will wilt in the second and third quarter after taking plenty of punishment.

Nobody is giving the Packers a chance because nobody thinks the Packers can keep up with all of the Cardinals’ offensive weapons, which they can’t. However, if Lacy keeps the chains and the clock moving, Carson Palmer and his three-headed monster of Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown remain on the bench.

And that just gives Green Bay’s defense, which has looked good the last three weeks by allowing just 39 points, more refreshed and ready to handle all of Arizona’s speed.

A solid and consistent performance by Lacy will turn the tables on his depressing season. 


Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

So according to Cory's stats Lacy has gained all of 36 yards on 3rd down? Jezz, no wonder they lost to the Lions, Bears, and Vikings at home. But Cory is absolutely right, the Packers have to run the ball and like Since '61 and others pointed out yesterday, the O-Line has to do their jobs. If Eddie get's it going early, if he pops up after a 15 yard run pumping his fists and jumping up and down, KEEP giving him the ball!! I really don't want to start looking at Mock Drafts yet!

DrealynWilliams's picture

That closing statement +1 !!!!!!

Tarynfor12's picture

" Eddie Lacy is the Packers' playoff glue "

He's more like that piece that repels glue more often than not. He needs to clean his mind so adhesive can grab hold and a reason M c Cathy tails away.

Nick Perry's picture

Eddie Lacy has carried the 15 times or more just 5 times this season, each time he's gained 85 yards or more. My point being if they "Stick" with him, he'll get the yards. It hasn't mattered if it was MM or TC, both wouldn't stick with the Running Game.

Dan Stodola's picture

In order for it to be worth sticking w/ the run, Lacy has to be effective. If he's the Lacy we've seen most of the time this year, its not worth running him. If Lacy has 25 yd on 10 carries, whats the point of giving them those extra 5 carries a game? Thats on Lacy to run w/ authority and decisiveness. If he's tentative and indecisive sit his ass on the bench.

Tundraboy's picture


LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

If Lacy's rib is still bothering him, & they can't shoot him up for it, all I want to see is Starks, Starks, Starks. Nobody seems to be picking the OVER. I'm going to put a buck on the OVER, & a buck on GB. I need to get GB into the next game. That's where I will make a few Dollars.

My only concern in this game is the same problem we had when we played AZ & Warner back in 2009. We had Collins & Woodson, & we couldn't stop the passing. AR threw for over 400 yrd's & we lost 51 - 45.

Somehow our defense has played (for the most part) better than I've given them credit for. Our secondary needs to show up today with one of those 17 - 24 Pt games. If we stop the pass, & that's a big if, no question in my mind GB WINS!! I'd love to see 31 - 24 GB because that's how I'm betting it. In my mind, our secondary is the key today to our Victory. Go Pack!!


Since '61's picture

Taryn - I usually understand and enjoy your posts but the last sentence in your post above has confused me. As for the game, Josh Sutton's quote in the article says it all. Regardless whether Lacy or Starks carries the ball our OL will be the key. Thanks, Since '61

Tarynfor12's picture

McCarthy abandons the run game because of its failing to win the battle . Whether it's the O line or the back. For Lacy to be the glue he needs to have self driven success regardless of the O line play at times. Lacy needs more wins against a defense that knows he's coming...he has failed for the most part thus the departure from McCarthy.

Tarynfor12's picture

Lacy has shown a lack of desire via his play, weight, etc as has been noted and discussed much. He needs to go into the game with extreme confidence to win his battle. Clean his mind of doubt and play how he was/is expected to.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tarynfor12, Lacy's main problem is his Bad Rib. many Light Years ago, I was a Running Back & a Linebacker. Believe Me, you CANNOT run the ball with anything bad, especially a Bad Rib.

I hope Lacy is ok for today's game, because we need all of our weapons. I may be wrong, but I think this game will be won through the air. If Lacy is hurt, I want to see more of Starks. JMO, but I also want to see Less of Cobb in the backfield running the ball. A screen to Cobb, Yes, Cobb running the ball, No!! MM knows a lot better than I, but It scares me to have Cobb running the ball from the backfield.

As I posted above, I think our Secondary is going to Win or Lose this game. AR needs to have Confidence in this game. Our Defense needs to help him out, All Game. Go Pack!!


LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tarynfor12, The game has now moved to 7 1/2. As a rule Not Too Good. I hope that means there are a lot of Wrong Betters on this game. I'll take whatever I can get in this game. Hope I'm Right on the Over 49 1/2


Tundraboy's picture

Oline is first key to winning game. Mixing up plays like last week and sustained drives will keep Palmer off field, keep D fresh enough to keep us in game and hopefully win it with some turnovers, the second key. Sustained drives are the words of the day and what I hope to see tonight. And as Nick Perry said, I'm not ready to look at Mock drafts and what went wrong this year analyses.

Go Pack Go!!

D Ernesto's picture

Eddie Lacy was a fat ass slob who disrepected his team coming into training camp looking like the Pillsbury Dough boy. This was a person not ready for prime time, and quite honestly never got in shape the whole season.
Really on a break away the O lineman tracks him down in the AZ game.
Without that run he did nada till that point. What he had 10 yards in how many carries?????
Total piece of crap this year, thanks for helping out Eddy.
Any other coach would have just sat him on the bench all year until he got into football shape. Mike has to play him to justify Ted's two pick on him.
There is an old joke, how many successful parachutes jumps do you need to make to graduate: all of em.
Just like you have to show up every season in shape and ready to play.

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