NFL Green Bay Packers

Eddie Lacy: Crucial Weapon Guiding Green Bay Packers

Benny Sieu- USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers control their own destiny for the final two games of the season thanks in large part to their 5-foot-11, 230 pound rookie running back Eddie Lacy. With wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears, the Packers will find themselves hosting the opening round playoff game at Lambeau Field. How is this possible when it seemed as if the Packers were down for the count?

Yes, Matt Flynn has provided stability at quarterback while Aaron Rodgers continues to work his way back from a fractured collarbone. However, the real reason the Packers are where they are is because of the front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year… Eddie Lacy.

The 23-year-old Alabama Crimson Tide product is seventh in the league with 1,028 rushing yards. He has eight rushing touchdowns, which has him tied for fifth in the league among running backs. The muscle machine also keeps defenses honest with his 236 receiving yards out of the backfield. What’s even more impressive? He leads the league in yards after contact and has time after time exploded through tackles when his team needs him most.

Lacy sparked a monumental comeback against the Dallas Cowboys with his 60 yard dash to open the second half. He finished with 141 rushing yards on 21 carries and gave the Packers the lead with his violent goal line burst into the end zone. He has been there when his team needs him most.

Even with a possible return of Rodgers and Randall Cobb to this offense for a playoff run, the role of Lacy will not change. He has established himself as a premier back in this league. The pure threat of him in the backfield has defenses continuing to stack the line of scrimmage, which has opened up the passing game in Rodgers’ absence as of late.

Look for not only Lacy to take home Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, but for the Packers to take full advantage of the opportunity that has been presented to them. As everyone knows, it’s not how you start the NFL season, but it’s how you finish. We all remember the 2010 depleted Packers who squeaked into the playoffs and went on a terrific Super Bowl run.

A year later the New York Giants finished the season strong and carried it towards a Super Bowl championship as well. Let’s be honest, last year’s Baltimore Ravens weren’t exactly favorites to win it all heading into the playoffs, but they got hot at the right time and didn’t look back. This 2013 Packers team is looking to follow suit and Lacy will be a driving force to their success with his ability to extend drives and wear down defenses.

The Packers’ season is shaping up to be a memorable one and you can fully expect Mike McCarthy to have his team ready to take advantage of their opportunity and continue the recent trend of Super Bowl winning teams.

Brandon Hemstead is a Green Bay Packers writer for Follow him on Twitter @hemi27sp, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.