Packers: Can the run game make up for the loss of Jordy Nelson?

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 29: Jamaal Williams
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 29: Jamaal Williams /

With Jordy Nelson now an Oakland Raider, how will the Green Bay Packers offense make up for his production?

At the start of free agency, the Packers made a tough decision to cut longtime contributor and fan favorite Jordy Nelson. The decision gave the Packers $10 million in cap space and allowed them to sign Muhammad Wilkerson and Jimmy Graham with the savings.

But the question now is how do the Packers make up for his lost production? I expect Graham will fill in the void in the red zone. Graham’s 10 touchdowns last season all came from within the 20-yard line. So, he can fill the red zone void but, how do the Packers get there?

One area that can help make up for lost production in the offense is in the running game. Yes, I know Nelson was a wide receiver but one thing that can help the passing game is a productive ground game. The Packers currently have the best quarterback in the NFL, and a productive run game can help him be an even more dangerous player.

The Packers haven’t had a balanced attack since 2014, Eddy Lacy’s last productive season. During that season, defenses had to respect and even fear the run game at times. That respect opened up the play-action pass and the pass game as a whole. It helped Aaron Rodgers win his second league MVP award.

The Packers have a stable of backs that can add a dimension to the offense we haven’t seen in Green Bay for some time. Each player brings a different element and has shown they can be playmakers.

Jamaal Williams has shown he can be the early-down pile mover the Packers had in Lacy and James Starks. Aaron Jones is a slippery juke and cut runner that has the potential to take it to the house from anywhere. Ty Montgomery can run between the tackles and motion out into the slot.

All three players have shown they can be a threat in the pass and run game so defenses won’t be able to clue in on the offense by seeing who’s in the game. The Packers need to capitalize on their talents.

When you have a quarterback like Rodgers, you don’t just move away from the passing game, but a bigger commitment to the run game can slow down the pass rush and give him more time to throw.

Last year health played a large role in who was lining up in the backfield. Each player dealt with injuries at some point in the season. Williams and Jones had different knee injuries, while Montgomery ended the season on injured reserve with wrist and rib injuries.

Next: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history

A rotation of the three players can help alleviate this issue. Injuries will occur at some point in the season. It’s the price you pay as an NFL running back. But having three capable backs can offset any major loss pf production should someone go down.

If they can avoid any major injuries and play a majority of the season together, the Packers backfield can push the offense to new heights despite the loss of Jordy.