Green Bay Packers run game holding steady

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Eddie Lacy is tackled by Carolina Panthers defensive end Mario Addison (97) in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Heading into the 2014 GreenBay Packers season, it was pretty clear that the team’s run game was going to be solid – not necessarily spectacular, but consistent.

I even wrote a piece during early training camp that we shouldn’t expect to see the same Eddie Lacy in 2014 that we saw in 2013 – and it all is seemingly coming to fruition.

You see, the rookie Eddie Lacy had a completely different role and expectations last year than he does in 2013.

The top difference is that he’s got Aaron Rodgers sharing the offensive backfield this year. Last year, Green Bay relied on Lacy much more than they have to rely on him in 2014.

Don’t get me wrong, his contributions are doing exactly what Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the offense needs this season … keeping defenses honest is the big thing. Just the right mix of Lacy and backup James Starks have given the Packers the right offensive mix – a mix that is leading to a ton of points and production. It’s also been a winning mix.

Consider last Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers. While not known as run-stuffers, the Panthers had enough of the run game thrown at them to keep them guessing and to keep the Packers pass game flourishing.

The duo of Lacy and Starks combined for 99 yards on 19 carries … a combination with an average right around 5 yards per carry. Frankly, whether it’s one back or two accounting for that type of production doesn’t matter. That’s a run game good enough to help teams win. Though the Packers rank twenty-second overall with an average of 98.7 yards per game on the ground, it’s been enough.

When you add in the fact that Aaron Rodgers and company (Packers rank twentieth in passing) have been so efficient, it’s a balanced offense that is being helped by the steady, yet unspectacular performances of the running backs.

The bottom line is winning and the steady performances by Lacy and Starks are big reasons the Packers have won four straight and head into their showdown with the New Orleans Saints with another win as their goal.

Let’s take a look at those steady, yet unspectacular numbers over the past four games …