I had to look back at one of my old blog posts from a different site from back in the 2010 SB season after Sunday’s game. At the time, the Packers were on the edge, injuries had taken a toll and they just couldn’t run the ball.
Sound familiar? This is my blog entry from early December of 2010:
Was that a running game I saw?
December 6, 2010
What many football pundits, analysts and Packer fans have been looking for is a Packer running game. Last week, even I made the point that the Packers didn’t have a running game… not by choice, but by necessity, based on personnel. But, I think they may have answered the call for “balance” with rookie James Starks. Starks was a sixth round pick who missed his entire senior season at the U of Buffalo with a shoulder injury. Then, after a hamstring injury back in May, Starks spent the first 12 weeks on the PUP until his NFL debut against the ‘Niners. Starks showed vision and power while carrying 18 times for 73 yards. He isn’t Adrian Petersen, Matt Forte, or Javid Best…but I think he could be the answer to those who question the Packers’ ability to run the ball in December and January. After seeing Starks this week, is there anyone who thinks we’d have gone for a QB sneak from the 2 yd line… twice? Me neither.
Could James Starks be the difference?
I don’t even remember very many aspects of that game other than the arrival of a running game. Even at that point, it wasn’t great, but it was REAL. The same happened on Sunday against the Cardinals.
Starks has been dealing with a turf-toe injury most of the season and is always one mistake away from being in McCarthy’s dog house. After his fumble that Rodgers had to dive on Sunday, I didn’t see him for a full quarter. Not coincidentally, in my opinion, the Packers offense struggled to move the ball with him on the bench. (No first downs in the third quarter) He was the workhorse in the fourth quarter to burn the clock with 10 carries for 30 yards, not great, but not terrible when everyone in the stadium knows what’s coming. He had seven carries for 41 yards before the fourth quarter.
Alex Green benefited as well, and I think it has to do with the differences in their running style. Starks is better in a crowd. He shows patience and commits to a cut, goes downhill and may break a tackle or two. Green is better in space, he isn’t as patient but he is full speed right away and if he gets in the open he can make plays.
Is this the end of our running woes? We won’t know the answer for a few weeks, but here’s to history repeating itself!
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