Green Bay Packers Show Commitment to Run

Gregory BoulangerContributor IJanuary 16, 2011

Starks ran 25 times against Atlanta
Starks ran 25 times against AtlantaStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

While Aaron Rodgers was lighting up the Falcons’ secondary—and the scoreboardit might have gone unnoticed that the Green Bay Packers mixed in the run quite well Saturday night.

After all, the numbers were by all means not eye-popping. James Starks only had 66 yards on 25 carries (2.6 yards per carry). But he ran hard and was effective.

The amount of carries also shows that Mike McCarthy and company really trust Starks as their workhorse back.

The short yardage situation also saw some major improvement thanks in part to 340+ pounder B.J. Raji. He was used as a fullback on a John Kuhn one-yard touchdown.

The commitment to the run helped give Rodgers and the Packers the ability to control the time of possession and total yards, as it further opened up the passing game.

The time of possession was an unbelievable 38:19 to 21:41. Even with a kickoff return for a touchdown, that difference in time of possession is an unquestioned formula for winning.

Look for Starks to continue to get a lot of carries against the Chicago Bears, the NFL’s No. 2 rush defense.

The Atlanta Falcons came in to the game ranked 10th in rush D, showing that if the Packers get a lead, they have no problem letting Starks carry a heavy load no matter who they are playing.

If Starks finishes with 25 carries against the Bears, it will probably be an indicator that the Packers won the game.