Ryan Grant Looking More Influential in Packer's Season

Carter BierwirthContributor INovember 16, 2008

Green Bay running back Ryan Grant seems to have finally hit his stride. The relative unknown has come a long way since he was acquired from the New York Giants last season. The Big Blue's loss, however, has turned into the Packers gain.

This week's performance against the Chicago Bears was even better than the Ryan Grant we saw last season. The Notre Dame alumnist ran up 145 yards on the ground on 25 carries. This gave him an average of 5.8 yards per run.

This came against one of the most highly praised run defenses in the NFL. Grant seems to have found his groove, while facing off against vicious defenses. Even in last week's heartbreaking loss to the Vikings, Grant managed 75 yards on 16 attempts, for an average of 4.7. Not bad considering the apparent lack of effort from the offensive line.

Where were these numbers in the first five games? Former Nebraska running back Brandon Jackson also contributed with 50 yards on 10 attempts. Needless to say, the running attack in the last two games has not been the problem.

The Packers face the New Orleans Saints next week.

Green Bay's defense stepped up against the run this past week, holding Matt Forte to only 64 yards on 16 attempts. They should be ready to face a very deadly Drew Brees.

Green Bay netted 427 yards of total offense, 195 of those yards coming from Grant and Jackson alone.

I'm sure that Aaron Rodgers feels much more comfortable back in that pocket, knowing that he no longer has to throw on every down. Notable mention also must go to the fullback, John Kuhn, who made several key third down conversions and also pushed Rodger's over the first down marker on a key sneak.

Green Bay's offensive line generated much more push this week than they did in the last three games combined. Perhaps the big men up front have finally realized just how important they are to this offensive formula.

Needless to say, Ryan Grant is now performing much like the way he did last season. After 10 weeks of play, Grant stands at 770 yards on the season on 198 carries. His average remains at a rather disappointing 3.9 yards per carry. After his last several performances, however, Ryan seems much more in tune with his game.

Now that Green Bay has shown a very balanced offense, their battle for dominance in the NFC North has become much, much easier. Should Grant and the Packer offense return with their game displayed against Chicago nothing but good will result.

Perhaps the contest against New Orleans will be the season's deciding factor.