Eddie Lacy Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Lacy: Tale of two halves

Is Eddie Lacy going to be the bruising, pounding back we all expected?

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Rookie running back Eddie Lacy, the Green Bay Packers second round pick in this year’s NFL draft, is expected to bring a dimension to the team’s offense not seen around these parts since Ahman Green.

The big running back from a big-time program, Lacy should seamlessly transition into the pros, right?

Well, not so fast.

Eddie Lacy is tackled by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith and 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis in the third quarter Sunday at Candlestick Park. Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Lacy learned in the preseason, and it was slammed home yesterday (Sunday) in-your-face style, reiterating that this isn’t college football anymore.  Yes, on his offensive line in college he had several high round draft picks he was running behind , but he hasn’t seen the defenses like he is seeing now for the first time.

After a preseason debut in which he ran strong for 40 yards on  eight carries against the St. Louis Rams, reality struck the next week when he ran into a Seattle defensive buzzsaw, getting negative yards on just about all of his carries.  On Sunday he ran into another defensive buzzsaw, this time the 2012 NFC Champions, the San Francisco 49ers.

Once again reality was rearing its ugly head, with Lacy carrying for one yard on his first four carries combined, and a game-changing fumble that gave the 49ers a short field, and eventually seven points. He did catch a nice, short pass and turned it into a 31-yard gain in helping the Packers on one of their scoring drives.

Eddie Lacy scores a touchdown over the pile against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports photograph

The second half went much better for Lacy, but not for the entire team. Lacy was crucial to a 76-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. Trailing by three points, he carried the ball five times on the drive for 26 yards, culminating in a two-yard touchdown, leaping over both lines to cross the goal line.

His overall numbers in the second half were nine carries for 37 yards (4.1 ave.), 1 touchdown, scoring with 8:26 to go in the game, and giving the Packers their only lead of the game.

Building off such a good second half will hopefully springboard both Lacy and the Packers into a good running team next week against Washington and beyond.

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