Green Bay Packers: Why the Packers Don't Need a Running Game in 2012

Matt SmithContributor IIIJune 10, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 15:  James Starks #44 of the Green Bay Packers runs with the ball against the New York Giants during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers have arguably the weakest stable of running backs in the entire NFL, with only the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and perhaps New York Jets as challengers for the title.

The Packers haven't had a reliable running game for a few years now, and it's no small secret.

Yet the team still finds success even when its opponents know that the ball's going in the air and not on the ground. The team's identity is a strong passing game led by Aaron Rodgers and his extremely deep receiving core.

So if they've done well in the past without an effective running game, what makes you think it can't be done again?

A key factor in determining this will be the play of Jermichael Finley. After showing great hands for his first couple of seasons, Finley had 12 drops in 2012. 

If Finley's on his game, then he'll require more attention that will benefit the Packers' five-strong receiving core.

Now, that's not to say an upgrade in the running game wouldn't be appreciated—it would. There are a lot of questions in the Packers' backfield right now.

James Starks has proven to be an injury-prone back who's only a mediocre talent when healthy, Alex Green is coming off a torn ACL that cost him his rookie season and part of this offseason and Brandon Saine is another pedestrian runner.

A strong rushing attack isn't to be expected in 2012. The majority of the focus will be on the passing game, which should make an otherwise terrible rushing attack seem mediocre.

The Packers won't have a great running attack, maybe not for the next few years. They made sure of that by neglecting a need at running back during the 2012 NFL draft.

Some may call that a mistake, but it wasn't. Green Bay simply doesn't need a strong rushing attack to succeed.