Running back Eddie Lacy has become the most important piece of the Green Bay Packers' playoff hopes.
The Green Bay Packers' playoff hopes barely stayed alive Sunday thanks to a 26-26 tie to the Minnesota Vikings. While it took changing quarterbacks from Scott Tolzien to Matt Flynn to even get to the tie, the play of whoever is under center isn't why the Packers still have playoff hopes.
No, the reason that Green Bay hasn't packed this season away is because of the play of rookie running back Eddie Lacy. The only reason that the Packers were able to finish this game with a tie is due to the play of Lacy.
Lacy had a few bad weeks heading into this matchup but was absolutely incredible against the Vikings. He finished the game with 110 rushing yards and a touchdown. Lacy also added six receptions for 48 yards in the passing game.
While the 158 total yards of offensive are certainly impressive, it's the way that Lacy racked up all those yards that shows just how important he is to the Packers moving forward.
Take his 48 receiving yards as an example. As Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette points out, Lacy did his damage when it mattered most:
Lacy has 6 catches for 48 yards in fourth quarter.— Mike Vandermause (@MikeVandermause) November 24, 2013
The fact that Lacy had all of his receptions and receiving yards in the fourth quarter is just amazing. Even more impressive was the way that Lacy ran with the ball in his hands.
He consistently picked up extra yards after contact. His power and non-stop motor were on display all afternoon, including this display of raw power on Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes:
While Flynn was fantastic once he got a chance, Lacy's dominance on the ground was why the Packers were able to make a 16-point comeback in this game. He completely took things over in the second half and opened things up for the Packers' passing game.
Maybe Bleacher Report's Matt Miller said it best following Sunday's game:
Who would have thought three years ago that Eddie Lacy would be the best Alabama RB in the NFL?— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 24, 2013
As it sits right now, the Packers' playoff hopes hinge on his legs and not on the play of Tolzien, Flynn or Mr. Aaron Rodgers himself.