It is back to work for the Green Bay Packers, following an early (and sorely needed) week four bye. Is it safe to say that this team is now ready to hoist our hopes and dreams onto their shoulders and carry them deep into the playoffs?
I don’t know.
What I do know, is that rookies abound on this squad and our collaborative success is riding on theirs.
So, who do we trust and who’s just a bust?
• Trust in Eddie Lacy – let’s face it, it’s been a rough start for our second round bruiser. His “coming out game” was week two of the preseason; he breathed life into a running game that had seen better days. He tread lovingly on the hearts of Packers faithful, every step of those eight carries for 40 yards. Even I had to feel sorry for the kid, losing a fumble in his first NFL start. Rushing against such a daunting front seven is no easy task. I held onto hope for Washington. First carry, a ten-yard romp behind an offensive line trying to shore up problems creating lanes. I could feel the excitement build; a vicious hit to the hat sidelined that excitement and concussion protocol ensued.
If the Packers are going to be successful this season, we need Eddie Lacy to suit up. Week three was Johnathon Franklin’s coming out party, giving our 1-2 punch back attack another chance at life.
Lacy took to the field in practice again this week, McCarthy stating that he “looked good.” I sure hope he’s feeling good, looking good and ready to roll when the Packers take on the Lions at Lambeau Field this Sunday. Aaron Rodgers needs this kid to be a power back, a ground and pounder. I am trusting Eddie Lacy to get healthy and get going versus a dominating Lions defense, proving to defenses everywhere that respecting the run against this Packers offense is not for the birds anymore.
• Trust in Datone Jones — if Packers fans had a question about the dip in Clay Matthews‘ production last season, then Datone Jones is the answer. When an explosive player like CM3 makes a fool of you once, it’s not likely to happen again. Defenses are getting wise to our Mr. Incredible and their double teams did not go unnoticed. The Packers went and got playmaker Datone Jones to bring a balance to our defensive line.
However, early injuries have taken the explosive edge away from Jones and he is struggling to get it back. Through two games this season, Jones has only registered two tackles, one solo. We need this man to go from One Solo to Han Solo and really become the hero that we know he can be.
It’s a new chapter to this 2013 season and the bell is ringing for the Packers to step up into their identity as contenders. For that to happen, Eddie Lacy and Datone Jones need to be there to help answer the call.