This question has been posed to me a couple times by my colleague on the Lombardiave.com Sports Panel, our host Davey Miller. With Aaron Rodgers out how has Eddie Lacy been an asset to the Packers offense?
If you look at the past five games since Rodgers went down, Eddie Lacy has gained 386 yards on the ground on 95 carries for an averaging 4.06 yards per carry and three touchdowns. These are not jaw-dropping numbers, but considering that the opposition has been placing focus on Lacy and stacking the box they are nothing to sneeze at either. Especially when factoring in Lacy and his offensive teammates have lined up with four different quarterbacks during that span.
Lacy made a significant impact on the ground against the Chicago Bears the night Rodgers went down with a fractured collarbone. He twisted, rumbled and turned for 150 yards
on 22 attempts and a touchdown. Rodgers and Seneca Wallace threw for a combined 113 yards, connecting on 12-of-21 passing attempts, no touchdowns and one interception. Remember, Rodgers only accounted for one pass for 27 yards. Lacy played a significant role in keeping that game close.
Matched against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field Lacy was also a factor. Some might say his stat line against the Eagles was not all that impressive, 73 yards on 24 attempts for a three yard average and no touchdowns. Keep in mind, going into this season the Packers did not have a running back break the 100-yard mark for 44 consecutive games. Over the past three seasons if a back gained 73 yards Packers Nation might think they had their next Jim Taylor.
In my mind Lacy’s most impressive performance came against the Minnesota Vikings - 110 yards on 25 carries. His drive and determination was impeccable against a Vikings defense targeting him. If not for his performance the disappointing tie may have been a back-breaking loss.
Without Rodgers at quarterback Lacy also had some clunkers. Against the Giants he rushed for a mere 27 yards on 14 attempts. The Packers were playing from behind most of that game and Scott Tolzien was attempting to gain ground through the air. And the Lions debacle was horrendous for Lacy and just about everyone on the Packers offense. The Lions defensive front owned the Packers offensive line. No one was effective.
On the season Eddie Lacy is averaging four yards a carry. Without Rodgers in the lineup Eddie Lacy is averaging four yards per carry. The point being is he has been consistent without or with the safety net of Aaron Rodgers.
The MVP quarterback keeps opposing defenses honest; this provides Lacy the opportunity to not run into eight man fronts down after down. Without Rodgers Lacy has held his own despite opponent’s game planning to stop the Packers offense by slowing him down.
If you are expecting Eddie Lacy to be a back like Adrian Peterson and dominate games despite what the opposition does to try to stop him you may be disappointed. Eddie Lacy was drafted to take the heat off Aaron Rodgers and give the offense balance. Despite Lacy’s success an offense predicated on the quarterback play will not flourish having to depend on its running back.