Before the season started, the Green Bay Packers had one obvious hole to fix on the offensive side of the ball. They had not had an effective running game since their Super Bowl run in 2010. A running game would help take some of the load off of Aaron Rodgers and would set up a very effective play action game. Insert Eddie Lacy. Lacy was a two time national champ at the University of Alabama and was regarded as the best running back in last year’s draft class. However, a turf toe injury forced Lacy to slide down draft boards. Those injury concerns might have been the best thing to happen to the Packers since Aaron Rodgers fell to pick 24 in 2005.
The Packers selected Lacy in the second round with the 61st overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. Early on in the season, Lacy showed some early rookie problems. In his first game against the San Francisco 49ers, Lacy rushed for only 41 yards and fumbled the ball once. In the next game against the Washington Redskins, Lacy carried the ball once for ten yards, but suffered a concussion after being struck in the helmet by Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather. Lacy missed one game because of the concussion was helped by the bye week to give him an extra week of recovery.
In his first game back against the Detroit Lions, Lacy showed why he was the best running back in the draft, rushing for 99 yards. The following week against the Baltimore Ravens, Lacy became the first Packers running back the rush for over 100 yards since 2009, as he carried the ball for 120 yards. Lacy’s best game as a Packers came against the Dallas Cowboys in week 15. While this was not his best rushing game in terms of yardage, this might have been his most effective. Lacy started off the second half with a 60 yard run, which helped lead the Packers from a 23 point halftime deficit to keep their playoff hopes alive. Lacy rushed for 141 yards and had the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
On the season Lacy rushed for a Packers rookie record of 1,178 yards and had 11 touchdowns. Interesting enough, after that week one fumble against the 49ers, Lacy did not fumble the ball the rest of the season. There was little doubt that Lacy would win the Rookie of the Year. His numbers speak for themselves. If Lacy can remain healthy, the Packers will have a very good running game for years to come.