Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy is looking fantastic. James Starks is looking like he did when the Packers won the Super Bowl. But the reason the Packers are running with a vengeance is because Mike McCarthy took a chance.
We do not normally like to thank McCarthy all that much, given the occasionally boneheaded play call, or mismanagement. But the truth is if he does not take a chance in the offseason in shaking up the offensive line, we might be right back in last season. Lacy might be doing alright, but he would not have had near the success as he has with this line.
I was definitely with the masses that wondered if our season was lost when Bryan Bulaga went down. But I to this point have been proven wrong.
David Bakhtiari has played well, especially last night with Jared Allen not even getting a tackle, hurry, or sack. Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang have been forces, paving the way for the run game. Evan Dietrich-Smith has been great, reminding us a bit of Scott Wells. Don Barclay has also held up well. To his credit, Barclay did play well in the place of Bulaga when he went down with a hip injury last year. In the six starts (four regular season, two postseason) he played, there were five sacks allowed, 19 QB hurries allowed, and three false starts. The funny thing is, there is not a first or even second round pick in this bunch.
The biggest thing for all of these guys is that they have been aggressive. I have not seen a Packers team with this kind of mean streak in years. They are fighting hard in the trenches, and have even done a good job keeping Rodgers clean in the passing game, with only 17 sacks allowed this season against a tough lineup of pass rushers.
Truth is, I think if I bet you the Packers would be one of the top rushing teams in the league when Bulaga went down, you would have laughed me out of town. Now I think we all are impressed with the type of production a rag tag bunch of mean hogs have brought us.