Packers need a run game to be considered a dynasty
Shoulders have been shrugged, wounds have been licked and we have given up on our Milwaukee Brewers for the 2012 baseball season.
We are now free of any distractions to turn our collective heads and hearts to the one team that makes our blood run hot and our hearts beat faster, win, lose or draw.
Are you ready for some football -- Green Bay Packers football?
Of course we are.
The Packers are coming off an astounding season, one in which they almost won all 16 of their regular season games only to suffer a total collapse in their first playoff game and lose to the Giants of New York, who went on to win the Super Bowl.
There is a feeling that we were gypped out of the title we deserved. I think a valid case can be made that the Packers were the best team in professional football, maybe even by quite a margin.
The team obviously wasn't perfect, but an offense like theirs can hide a lot of weaknesses. And there seems to be no reason that the team won't have at least as great an offense this year as last.
Clearly the fact that the Packers had the worst-ranked defense in the league last year is a matter of some concern, and the jury is out on whether the changes that are being made will improve that record. A pass rush that actually stands a chance of getting to the quarterback would be a big help.
But one more area that I think a lot of people look past is the running game.
The common wisdom is that the NFL has become a passing league, with quarterbacks and receivers the dominant force.
But I think that's only part of the package.
Last year five of the eight division winners had running games that ranked in the top 10 in the league. They all had relatively balanced attacks. The Packers rushing game ranked sixth from the bottom. They passed 10 more times per game than they ran the ball, a huge imbalance.
Last year Aaron Rodgers was so brilliant that he covered for the lack of a running game. A lot of people think he is the best player in the league, and I don't disagree. Many of those same people are using the word "dynasty" in the same sentence with Green Bay Packers.
But I have seen a lot of football in my day, and when people start talking about dynasties, then it's time for the dynasty-in-waiting to closely examine what it is doing and find ways to shore up weaknesses.
These Packers may be a dynasty, but if they don't find a running game they won't have anywhere to go on the rare days that Rodgers doesn't seem to have it. The playoff game against the Giants was an example of, for whatever reason, Rodgers being slightly off his game.
Finding a way to run and control the football would have helped the Packers move the ball and would have helped to keep it out of the hands of Eli Manning.
The Packers have James Starks and Alex Green to carry the ball and neither one strikes fear in the heart of opposing defenses. And the offense line for Green Bay doesn't have anyone close to an All-Pro with the possible exception of right guard Josh Sitton.
So as we all get ready to cheer and go crazy for our lads in Green Bay, let's not get too wrapped up in the glories of a passing game and focus some of our attention on the old days of running the ball. That could well prove to be the key to the continued growth to dynasty level.
i agree the pack need to run more often, but the only way is for mm to call some running plays. against the giants, we ran the ball on the 1st play of the game, for over 10+ yards, and then didn't run it again for like 12 plays. the giants begged us to run, played pass d the entire game. sometimes you have to take what the opposing d is giving you....
Dave the giants passed the ball 33 times for 325 yards and rushed the ball 27 times for a lousy 95 yards against the packers in the playoff game. It l looks to me that the team that beat the packers and went and won the Superbowl did most of their damage through the air.
Dave do you even do real research before you write an article. The Giants won the Superbowl and were dead last in Rushing last season. Dead last. That stat makes your whole article useless.
Can you please tell me where the Giants running game ranked at the end of the last season? They won the super bowl, so by your logic it was probably one of the best rushing offenses in the league or at least pretty decent. Wait...you're not going to answer so let me look it up.... Hey! look at that! 32nd out of 32 teams! Dead last!!! The Giants also threw the ball 11 more times a game then they ran it. That's a bigger discrepancy than the Packers. Kinda late in your career to start researching what you write about, but hey, better late than never Dave!
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