Maybe this season we’ll see a change in the way the Green Bay Packers operate, and Aaron Rodgers won’t feel the need to do everything for his offense, as rookie Eddie Lacy is looking like someone who’s ready to get the team’s dysfunctional running game back on track.
Rodgers went for 10-of-12 and 134 yards as the Green Bay Packers beat the St. Louis Rams 19-7, with Eddie Lacy getting 8 carries and making 40 yards out of them. The Pakcers scored only one touchdown (B.J. Coleman to Jake Stoneburner), but they were quite pleased with the outcome of Rodgers’ drives (resulting in field goals).
Lacy was probably the center of attention. It was the preseason debut for the former Alabama player, and there are plenty of expectations from him to be the one that revives the stagnant running game for the Packers. Lacy didn’t disappoint, but it was only his first time out there, while Rodgers had to give up on some throws with his top two receivers, Jordy Nelson and Randal Cobb, out injured.
So Jermichael Finley was the one who stepped up to become Rodgers’ top target. Rodgers has been praising him all offseason, and the two seemed quite well connected as Finley caught four passes for 78 yards on the day. Jarrett Boykin and Brandon Bostick got to chip in as well, combining for 5 receptions and 62 yards.
Another player with plenty of eyes turned to him was Vince Young, who was the third quarterback to be introduced to the game by the Packers. Young finished with 5-of-9 for 26 yards, but he also had a 7-yard run. In any case, he’s not likely to see this amount of action during the regular season unless injuries or the Packers ripping through opponents is going to be something of a weekly occurrence.
Cornerback Micah Hyde did a good job for most of the game, showing rebounding ability after giving up a big 57-yard play to Chris Given in the first quarter. The Packers need their defense to be much better than it was last season against the pass, but for now, they aren’t feeling too confident about what they’re seeing, as someone like Dezman Moses seems a step or two behind the rest in his timing and decision making.
On the other hand, defensive tackle Johnny Jolly had a big game with an interception and some improbable plays that included tipping the pass that Jarrett Bush intercepted, and showed some impressive burst and strength against double coverage from the offensive line.
The Packers gave Rodgers a record deal this offseason, but that doesn’t make him superhuman. No touchdowns in the preseason mean nothing – it’s only an opportunity for others – younger receivers and running backs to show they deserve a spot on this team, and to get passes and looks from Rodgers. Without the kind of support he had from all angles three years ago, the Packers’ hopes of reaching the Super Bowl once again don’t really have any foundation.