Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said rookie running back Eddie Lacy received one of several game balls given out for the Packers 22-9 victory over the Detroit Lions. The game ball Lacy was given was called “The Edge Award,” given to the player with the most ‘chips’ in the game.
Chipping is when an offensive player in the backfield hits someone or somehow slows down an opposing defensive player on their way out into the second level of the defense. According to McCarthy, Lacy had six chips against the Lions, a number with which the coach seemed very happy. Eddie “The Big Bang Theory” Lacy is surely proving, or has already proven he is an every-down back.
His pass protection is light years ahead of his rookie status. Now the Edge Award is on his mantle? All of that is in addition to his 23 carries and 99 yards rushing right at the best duo of defensive tackles in the business. Of course T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton earned games balls as well for their blocking and ruggedness, and Evan Dietrich Smith played his best game of the season. The Lions were literally uncharacteristically fatigued in the fourth quarter, due to the steady dose throughout the game of the heavy pounding they were receiving from Lacy and his interior line mates.
It’s taken Lacy the first four games to figure things out, and now that he has, the rest of the league will have to pick their poison between the bruising running game the Packers now legitimately possess, by playing seven or eight in the box, or play the lethal offensive aerial attack the Packers always seem to possess, playing nickel and dime packages, leaving Lacy and company bigger holes to run through.
Lacy said Sunday’s game gave him a tremendous boost in confidence, proving to himself he can play and finish an NFL game. With his confidence growing by leaps and bounds, the coordination between Lacy and his linemen is only going to get better.
The Packers are quietly building for the playoffs. Defenses are going against conventional wisdom by not playing the run just yet when playing Green Bay. Their thinking (opposing coaches) seems to be that Green Bay still wants to pass it, so let’s head them off at the pass, and not chase them around defending the pass and run first at different times.
They all just seem to be still playing pass first. Interesting part of that may be because the Packers success at running the football has come with three different backs making it happen, Lacy, James Starks, who is out injured at the moment, and fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin. I think if one player would have been doing all the damage, maybe opposing teams would be playing with a tighter box by now.
It’s hard to say. But what is easy to say is that Eddie “The Big Bang Theory” Lacy and the Green Bay Packers running game should continue to hit people in the mouth like they did against the Lions.
If so, Aaron Rodgers will be licking his chops, and then it’s game on!