The bye week has come and gone and now it is 13 straight weeks of Green Bay Packers football (hopefully more). Some fans may have been glad for the bye to come as soon as it did so that they would not have to watch another nail bitter. The fact is a 1-2 record is disappointing, but not nearly as much as it could be. There are several reasons to be excited about the possibilities for the Packers this season, with an improved run game being one of them.
Green Bay’s two losses were by a combined 10 points and occurred against two playoff contenders. It is certainly nothing to get worked up about. It would have been nice if certain calls and plays went Green Bay’s way but that is just how it is sometimes. Obviously, there are several areas the Packers must fix in order to be legitimate threat. With that being said, the rushing attack is one area the team can be proud of so far this season.
Six players have combined for 384 rushing yards through three games this season. That comes out to an average of 128 rushing yards per contest, which is good for ninth in the NFL. The solid performance is also a big reason why Green Bay ranks second in the league in passing yards per game (326.7).
What exactly does this mean? The Packers have an offense that could turn into a well-oiled machine that will become unstoppable down the stretch, as long as the changing parts do not occur as frequently. Too many injuries to the running backs have taken place mid-game, which has messed with the chemistry of the offense. Even with rookie Jonathan Franklin posting over 100 yards on the ground against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3, all of which occurred in the second half, the offense was still unable to finish strong.
Green Bay has to be thrilled that two different running backs have gone over 100 yards in a single game this season and none of them were Eddie Lacy. There is no doubt in my mind that Lacy would be on pace to break John Brockington’s record of most rushing yards in a single season by a Packers rookie (1,105) if Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather did not lay down a ferocious helmet-to-helmet on him in Week 2. The depth at the position is certainly something the franchise has not seen in quite some time.
The good news is Green Bay has a balanced running game that should complement Aaron Rodgers’ arm as the season progresses. There is no question it makes them a very dangerous team as long as the players can stay healthy and the offense can get everything working together.
The Packers may currently be two games back for a share of the lead in the NFC North but it is nothing to fret. Green Bay will prove that when they take on the Detroit Lions in Week 5.