Before the start of the season, the Green Bay Packers had not had a one hundred yard rusher since 2009. The last three games, James Starks rushed for 132 yards, Johnathan Franklin had 103 yards, and last week Eddie Lacy almost reached the 100 yard mark, missing it by one yard. For a team that is on paper supposed to be a pass first team, the Packers are showing that they can get the job done on the ground if they need two.
During the off-season, the Packers had to determine who would be their workhorse running back. They drafted Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin with the hope that they would improve the Packers running game. The team also had James Starks and DuJuan Harris, but with Harris out for the year with a knee injury, Starks was the only running back on the Packers’ roster with NFL experience. After Lacy suffered a concussion against the Washington Redskins, Starks answered the call from head coach Mike McCarthy and broke the 100 yard barrier.
Franklin took center stage against the Cincinnati Bengals after Starks suffered a knee injury early in the game. With Lacy still recovering from his concussion, Franklin was given his opportunity to shine and he did not disappoint. Franklin showed the electric ability that he had at UCLA and joined Starks as back to back 100 yard rushers. Unfortunately, Franklin was bitten by the injury bug, suffering a foot injury on the Packers second to last drive.
With Franklin and Starks both recovering, the second round draft pick out of Alabama was given the ball. Lacy, now healthy and concussion-free, pounded through the tough Detroit Lions defensive line as he almost became the third straight Packers running back to rush for 100 yards. He would have had 100, but Jarrett Boykin committed a holding penalty negating a run that would have put Lacy over the century mark. Regardless of the penalty, Lacy still had a great day of rushing the football. This effort helped the Packers seal the win against the Lions last week.
The Packers definitely had rushing issues they had to fix during the off-season. Those issues seem to be handled, and with the help of the NFL draft and players getting healthy, the Packers have found a perfect balance to compliment their explosive passing attack. Come late in the season in cold Wisconsin, the Packers will have something for opposing defenses.