Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy captured AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors on Saturday based on a terrific debut season which saw him help carry the team to the postseason.
Will Brinson of CBS Sports passed along news of the voting results:
Eddie Lacy wins 2013 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) February 1, 2014
Lacy was a workhorse for the Packers. He carried the ball 284 times, which ranked fifth in the league despite missing a game, for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had 35 catches coming out of the backfield in the passing game.
Who would have received your Offensive Rookie of the Year vote?
Lacy spoke in December about what it would mean to win the award, via Paul Imig of Fox Sports, "I would love to win it. I think it would be a huge accomplishment."
While several other offensive rookies made a significant impact for their teams this season, including Giovani Bernard, Zac Stacy, Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins and Jordan Reed, among others, Lacy seemingly pulled away from the pack while Aaron Rodgers was sidelined due to a broken clavicle.
Green Bay's franchise quarterback missed seven games starting in Week 10, but the team was still alive in the playoff chase when Rodgers returned to push them over the top in Week 17. Without Lacy to stabilize the offense in his absence, there's a good chance that the Packers wouldn't have been close to sniffing a playoff spot at the end of the season.
Lacy also made a case that there is still a place in the NFL for a powerful back who can grind down defenses as opposed to the now-popular running back committees. He was a true lead back and got stronger as the year went on despite the heavy workload, averaging a season-high 4.6 yards per carry in December.
The Alabama product joins Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and Sam Bradford as winners of Offensive Rookie of the Year honors over the last four years. Randy Moss, Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders are among some of the big names to have also won the award.
Lacy becomes the first running back to win since Adrian Peterson in 2007.
As it turns out, the Packers, which were seeking more balance on offense even before Rodgers' injury this season, made the right decision to grab Lacy in the second round. Despite getting passed over for 60 picks, he shined above all the other rookies on the offensive side of the ball.
Now, he has the award to show for all of that hard work running between the tackles. It's safe to say the future is bright for the Packers' rising star.