Packers run game – Jared Allen asks, ‘Really?’


Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy ran around and through the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday night. Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports photograph

After Sunday night’s big win against Minnesota, the Vikings DE Jared Allen had an important question for his locker room:

"”When the heck is the last time the Green Bay Packers rushed for 200 yards on somebody? If that’s not a punch in the gut and a wake-up to people, something needs to be.”"

He was being a bit exaggerative. It wasn’t 200 yards, Jared.

It was 182.

I agree with Allen that this new Green Bay Packers offense should be a wake up call to people.

Hey, NFL  … WAKE UP.

During the off-season, there was much talk about the offense needing to find balance. We all saw the stats. Our offensive line was not good, Aaron Rodgers was taking too many sacks (51, league high), defenses had studied ways of taking away the potency of the aerial attack after the success of the 2011 season. All of these things were stemming from the lack of a respectable ground game. When the defense doesn’t regard the run, they find ways to disrupt the pass, get to the quarterback and dare you to run it.

Every defense was daring us to run it … we just couldn’t ever get anything established. DuJuan Harris’s late push was promising, but we were never able to change the identity of our offense and run the ball consistently.

I was very disappointed that we passed on Eddie Lacy in the first round. I had heard great things about this workhouse out of Alabama. I thought, “oh great, another one dimensional season.” I couldn’t believe my eyes that Lacy was still on the board entering the 2nd round.

When I got that text alert, The Green Bay Packers have selected RB Eddie Lacy … I was ecstatic! But, naysayers were still skeptical. The Packers, as long as they are steered by Aaron Rodgers at the helm, will be a pass-first team. The Packers will never be committed to the run. Eddie Lacy is not in great football shape, Lacy won’t contribute heavily right away.

Last week’s balanced offensive attack was as much a surprise to me as it was to Jared Allen. The Packers relied heavily on Lacy and James Starks, completely exhausting an already decimated Vikings defense. Controlling the ball for more than 40 minutes on offense, Lacy, Starks and Rodgers combined for 182 yards and two rushing touchdowns. The running backs accounted for 60 percent of the offensive production. Doesn’t sound like an Aaron Rodgers’ led team, does it?

If you ask Rodgers, he is completely happy getting the ball out of his hands more, working with manageable third downs and really utilizing the play action. He enjoys being upright, keeping his uniform relatively clean and having the running game open up his favorite targets downfield.

I love that explosive aerial attack that we were so proud of. It is fun to watch – but I just didn’t realize how fun it is to watch your beast running backs complement it.

Lacy should be in the conversation for Rookie of the Year, even at this point of the season. He has turned this team into a running threat, forcing defenses to prepare for the BEST quarterback in football and the HAMMER, Eddie Lacy out of the backfield.

Hopefully, da Bears will be the next opponent to ask, “when is the last time the Packers ran 200 yards on somebody?”

And to that, we’ll say … last week.