Green Bay Packers: Improved Running Game Makes Super Bowl Run Possible
The Green Bay Packers are at 10-4 on the season, have clinched the NFC North and are now trying to get a first-round bye for the playoffs.
After starting the year 2-3, it's pretty amazing to think they are one of the top teams right now in the NFC, and possibly the NFL. After losing so many players to injury, the Packers have found ways to win, winning eight of their last nine games.
During this impressive streak, the Packers have discovered something that will be able to help them make yet another run to the Super Bowl.
A running game.
After struggling to run the ball for the past couple of years, the running game has emerged once again for the Packers. While they only rank 20th in the league in rushing yards per game, the running game has emerged over the past few weeks.
The Packers have had four straight games with over 100 yards rushing. After barely moving the ball on the ground at the beginning of the year, the Packers have been able to establish the run, thanks to some new, and old, faces.
After the injury to Cedric Benson, Alex Green was asked to take the majority of the carries for the Packers. He had a rough start to the beginning of the year, tripping consistently around the line of scrimmage. However, he has now found his place, and has shown some impressive power when running through defenders.
With the recent injury to James Starks, the Packers have included two other players in the running game. DuJuan Harris has played the last two weeks, only carrying the ball 12 times. On those 12 carries, he has ran for 58 yards and a touchdown. Harris has taken advantage of his limited carries, and the coaching staff is starting to trust him more.
After being released at the beginning of the season, Ryan Grant returned to the Packers two weeks ago. He received a very warm welcome and has done pretty well in the few carries he has had. Although he fumbled once already, it was an impressive strip by Charles Tillman of the Bears. In his nine carries with the Packers, he has ran for 45 yards. Grant has broken a few runs for big gains already and will look to get more carries because of it.
With the options at running game, it feels a lot like the Super Bowl run of 2010. After the team suffered multiple injuries, they kept finding ways to win and found a running game at the end of the season, thanks to Starks.
If the Packers can continue to improve in the running game, then that will take the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers. If they can do that, the Packers are as dangerous as anyone in the NFL.
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