Steady Eddie Key to Pack's Offensive Attack

Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon has a mantra for leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler, “You go, we go” which displays the importance of Fowler reaching base and being the catalyst to ignite the Cubs offense.

The same sentiment could be said for running back Eddie Lacy and the Green Bay Packers offense. As he consistently churns out yards and at times is the focal point of Mike McCarthy’s offense, they show consistent success.

Comparably when Lacy is injured, ineffective, or failing to get ample carries; the Packers offense seems to struggle mightily.

Look no further than the first half of Sunday night’s contest against the New York Giants in which Lacy was a key contributor for the Packers’ two first half touchdown drives. The bruising back toted the ball 9 times for 77 yards in the first half, but was sidelined with an ankle injury limiting him to just two carries in the second half.

The impact of Lacy’s presence was as subtle as a fire alarm. When the third year back got two or more carries on a drive, the Packers drove the ball for 75, 71, and 80 yards with two touchdowns. He wasn't’t even untouchable on the first drive, with 4 carries for 13 yards, but his presence alone changes the way defenses react. The offensive unit would have scored on all three drives had Aaron Rodgers not thrown a unicorn-like tipped interception inside of the red-zone.  

 Comparably, when Lacy wasn't’t featured in the first half, the Packers sputtered over those four drives and snapped the ball 15 times for 15 total yards. The team only manufactured 3 points on these drives, being setup for a field goal right before halftime. The other three drives resulted in two “booming” Jacob Schum punts and an interception on a poor pass from Rodgers. After the success of the first two drives, it was surprising when the Packers decided to pass all three downs. They need to keep it simple and stay with the ground game, and utilize Lacy’s unique skill set.

 Taking it a step further, the Packers failed to find the end zone in the second half as well posting 6 total points on a couple of field goals. The play-action pass was seemingly rendered useless with James Starks as the decoy, even with consistently good pass protection. While some of the blame can be pointed in Rodgers’ direction, an effective running game gives his receivers more separation.

 Lacy’s injury forced long-time backup Starks into action, and he only produced 33 yards on 12 carries. It seems that Starks has been less decisive in his cuts this season, choosing to run east and west more often. Age could be a factor in Starks’ dip in production, but it seems like his reads and decisions at the point have been off as well. Largely regarded as the better pass-catcher of the two backs, Starks nearly turned the ball over to the Giants in the fourth quarter on a routine throw over the middle.

It may be in the interest of the Packers to bring another back onto the roster, especially if Lacy’s injury lingers. While there aren’t a plethora of options on the street, its’ possible they could catch lightning in a bottle for someone in a backup role. I think this club would benefit from a speedy pass-catching back on third downs, but it will be difficult to find at this point. 

Luckily, Eddie’s injury seems to be short term. They just need to continue to feature him in the offense, and the Packers will have continued success. A few less isolation routes from the receivers may also work in their favor, but that’s for another column.

           

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Comments (21)

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rdent's picture

October 13, 2016 at 02:44 pm

Simply put,a good RB is key to most any offense,just as Eddie Lacy is to GB,you need to be able to run the ball for a number of reasons that of course I don't need to get into

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Handsback's picture

October 13, 2016 at 02:52 pm

Make Dallas stop Lacy first, then open up the longer routes. If Lacy can't go....short passes and 2 yds. and a cloud of dust.

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Grandfathered's picture

October 13, 2016 at 07:50 pm

" I think this club would benefit from a speedy pass-catching back on third downs, but it will be difficult to find at this point. "

Maybe Monty or Cobb could fill that role.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 08:45 pm

Desert is right. Lacy is a fat ass. That's why he gets injured and why the coaching staff makes him take drives off. Cause he's fat.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 08:47 pm

When is Eddie due? I think it's twins.

Fat Ed ain't going to get a second contract. Too fat.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:44 pm

Why lean on Eddie when you have the great James Starks? He looks awesome this year. Good thing TT paid him fat cash.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:43 pm

Fatties don't save offenses.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:47 pm

Triplets?

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:46 pm

Gotta be on the field as opposed to eating Culvers Butter Burgers to be important to the offense.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 14, 2016 at 11:03 am

Those burgers are freaking good. I could go for one right now.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 14, 2016 at 01:10 pm

True. Can't really blame him for that one.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:48 pm

6,000 calories per day isn't a diet.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:49 pm

My friends keep telling me I need to put on some weight. Think I'll do P90x.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:47 pm

Eddie going to save this offense? Ok, so will Fat Albert.

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rdent's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:10 pm

Eddie could hide the football under the front of his jersey and no one would notice

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 08:54 pm

Eddie going to save this offense? LOL. Need a RB who can carry the ball more than 12 times a game. A RB who isn't a fat Culvers addict.

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rdent's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:28 pm

Point taken dude!

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PaulRosik's picture

October 14, 2016 at 10:57 am

Sarcasm is ok but you've gone to full out hate Take a pill dude. If you really hate the Packers that freaking bad watch something else sheesh.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 14, 2016 at 01:11 pm

My one comment was posted like nine times, couldn't delete so had to edit. Decided to stick to my TP's.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 14, 2016 at 09:02 am

Starks' stats vs. NY:

1st-3rd quarters: 6 carries, 32 yds;
4th quarter: 6 carries - 0 yards (inc. 3 neg runs).

I can't imagine why Starks fairly consistently has crappy stats in the 4th quarter. Could it be that the opposing team knows MM is going to go into turtle mode, and Starks isn't the guy who is going to pick up yds against an 8 man front? That is Lacy's or Rip's job. But nothing like using a player in a role to which he is not suited - a MM specialty. Starks is a one cut runner who needs a hole and has NEVER been a guy who gains a lot after contact.

Can we acknowledge that TT's decision to give Starks a 2 yr. $6 million contract is very questionable? And I like Starks better than most.

Bad GMing, Bad Coaching.

Thegreatreynoldo says:
March 18, 2016 at 09:19 am(edit)
Report is Starks signed for 2 years and $6 million with GB, almost doubling his last contract. I'll wait for the exact details before expressing my shock at the raise.

http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/packers-reportedly-bringing-back-james-star...

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NickPerry's picture

October 15, 2016 at 05:39 am

Excellent comment TGR and I'd imagine there's a ton of truth to defenses knowing McCarthy will go into "Turtle Mode". Not only do they know "Turtle Mode" is coming, they know which plays he'll run.

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