In the first part of this series, we tried to redefine the “balanced attack” on offense as one that has the pieces
in place to deal with whatever the opposing defense throws at them. Getting closer to a 50/50 split between the run and the pass would have more to do with what makes most sense according to down and distance and what the defense was showing. With that in mind, it all starts with the play calling, and all the communication that takes place on and off the field. But success doesn’t stop there:
This just in…rumor has it the Packers want to limit the number of runs by Eddie Lacy in the Monday Night Football game against the Bears (Lacy has carried the ball more than 20 times each in the last 3 games) …who would’ve thunk it!
2. We can’t talk about the Packers’ sudden balanced offense without mentioning of course the running backs. In the draft Green Bay picked up two running backs in early rounds by the names of Eddie Lacy (27th overall) and Johnathan Franklin (125th overall). While Franklin has had his struggles in the preseason Eddie Lacy quickly became the number one running back for Green Bay Packers. Lacy has shown toughness inside as a hammer while also having quick feet and a good two foot cut. Lacy also has very good vision and has continued to improve as he learns the offense and plays more based on his natural instinct with less “thinking”. As a season progressed Lacy has had more touches and become the workhorse back for the Green Bay Packers racking up multiple 100 yard games, averaging 4 yards per carry with 3 touchdowns. This has meant that Green Bay can run the ball on first down, 3rd and short, and goal-to-go and has the option to run the ball at any time depending on what the defense is set is and what Aaron Rodgers sees when he comes to the line of scrimmage. Again, see the interplay between play calling and the running backs’ success). A healthy Lacy means that opposing defenses have to seriously consider dropping extra guys into the box to keep from being absolutely gashed.
Another bonus to the 2013 season has been a resurgent James Starks. Starks had 132 yards against the Redskins and has shown once again that if he can stay healthy, he is a threat. With Starks as a complement to Lacy, the Packers now have a combination that has been called “Thunder and Thunder”. And once again let me highlight how important that thunder and thunder combination is going to be at Lambeau Field in December.
Franklin, however, has dropped to the third spot on the depth chart which may not be such a bad thing. It is important for rookie players to take mental reps and Franklin will have a chance to develop and in the event (heaven forbid) that we need him to take the place of an injured starter or second.
So Packers fans look forward to a Monday Night meeting with the Bears…the oldest rivalry in all of NFL football…secure in the knowledge that the Packers come into the game with the ability to “Call down Thunder”. Tonight will be another chance to take what the defense and down and distance dictate, and exploit it toward another big victory against an NFC North opponent.