Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running backEddie Lacy
(27) runs past Dallas Cowboys defensive endJeremy Mincey
(92) in the first quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Successful Ground Work
Just as they did against Detroit, Green Bay started off this contest by keeping the ball on the ground and showing they could run it.
On the day, Eddie Lacy was able to provide another 100+ yard game (101 yards on 19 carries to be exact). That becomes even more impressive when you look at the fact that he had to miss time in the second half because of an asthma attack.
The team as a whole was able to gain 119 total yards on 30 carries (just under 4.0 yards per carry). This undoubtedly helped to balance the team’s play-calling, keeping the defense from being able to load up or predict what was going to get called in what was a close contest throughout.
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) runs against Dallas Cowboys strong safetyBarry Church
(42) in the second half in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The success of the run game also was a great way to protect the already-injured Aaron Rodgers. Not only does success there take the pressure off of him to make plays in the passing game, but it also gets the ball out of his hands quickly so that defenses are unable to even have an opportunity to hit him.
Going into this rematch with Seattle, Green Bay will need plenty from its offense to win, but the running game may be even more important than ever. Seattle has been better than ever on defense lately, and knowing that Rodgers is hampered will only make them more incorrigible in pressuring him.
If Lacy — who ended up missing significant time in the Week 1 matchup due to a concussion — can stay healthy and provide a consistent force in the running game for Green Bay, Rodgers could be afforded some more room to work with when they choose to pass. Without that, it’ll be hard to see a gimpy Rodgers manage a full game of superhuman effort it would probably otherwise take to come out victorious.
Next: WR #3 keeps things moving