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Bad ankle and all, Eddie Lacy toughs it out, goes over 1,000 yards

Posted Dec 15, 2013

He’s closing in on franchise rookie rushing record, while Mason Crosby stays on a roll

DALLAS—Eddie Lacy might never have gutted out 141 tougher rushing yards in his career.

“Oh my God,” Lacy said, when asked about the ankle injury that kept him out of practice this week until Friday. “I need to go to the training room right now.”

The Packers needed Lacy for the entire second-half comeback on Sunday, though, and he came through in the 37-36 victory over the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Mustering just 31 yards on eight carries in the first half, Lacy started the second half with a 60-yard scamper that got both him and the Packers offense going.

“I think it was a big play for us offensively,” Lacy said. “Even defensively, they stepped up after that. It was a big play for our team overall.”

The offense went on to score five touchdowns in five possessions while Lacy had 13 carries for 110 yards in the second half, including the game-winning 1-yard TD dive over the top of the pile with 1:31 left.

The effort put Lacy over 1,000 yards rushing for the season, and with 1,028, he’s closing in on the franchise rookie record of 1,105 set by John Brockington in 1971. Lacy extended his team rookie record for rushing TDs with his eighth on Sunday, and as is his custom, he deferred credit to his blockers, including the receivers doing the job downfield.

“Big ups to those guys,” he said. “This was the best game I’ve ever been a part of.”

That sounds strange coming from a player who won multiple national titles at Alabama, but Lacy confessed that everything feels different in the NFL.

“It does, it gives you a certain level of respect for your teammates out here,” he said. “These guys came and played their heart out.”

Long, long range: Kicker Mason Crosby’s 57-yard field goal in the first quarter gets long forgotten after a comeback like this. But as straight and true as he kicked it – it appeared it would have been good from a few yards farther – only underscored how good a roll Crosby is on.

In fact, as soon as the 57-yarder (his second from that distance this season) left his foot, he spun around and slapped five with holder Tim Masthay as Masthay was trying crane his neck around Crosby to watch.

“I was giving Tim a hard time,” said Crosby, who has now made 11 in a row and is 30-for-34 on the season. “I knew I’d hit it smooth and gotten the distance.”

The three points became the Packers’ only score of the first half. The kick was also Crosby’s fifth field goal from 50-plus this season, one shy of the Green Bay single-season record of six, set by Chris Jacke in 1993. Crosby now has 19 field goals of 50-plus in his career, extending his own franchise mark.

“We’re aggressive,” Crosby said. “Coach has never been anything but aggressive in putting me out there for opportunities, and I was glad I was able to capitalize.”

Friendly confines: The Packers have played only two games at AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium) and both are historic.

The first was Super Bowl XLV three years ago, the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl triumph. On Sunday, the Packers’ rally from 23 points down tied the largest comeback in team history, matching the rally from a 23-0 deficit in the 1982 season opener against the Los Angeles Rams at Milwaukee County Stadium. The Packers won that game, 35-23.

“We like it, we like it a lot,” linebacker Clay Matthews said of the venue, also known as “Jerry’s World” in reference to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. “It’s been good to us. Aside from all that, it’s pretty impressive.”

Hanging tough: For all the struggles the Packers had on defense through the first three quarters of the game, it can’t be neglected that what gave them any prayer of coming back was holding the Cowboys to so many field goals.

Dallas settled for five field goals from K Dan Bailey, four of them from 45 yards and out. The biggest stand came after an interception by QB Matt Flynn gave the Cowboys the ball on the Green Bay 20-yard line late in the second quarter, but a sack by Mike Daniels forced a three-and-out.

On the other four field goal drives, the Packers gave up 223 of the Cowboys’ 466 total yards, but surrendered just 12 points.

“In hindsight that helped us out,” Matthews said.

“To get this victory, and the fashion in which we did, it speaks volumes about this team and hopefully where we’re headed.”

Injury update: For the Packers, DE Johnny Jolly (shoulder) and TE Brandon Bostick (foot) left the game and did not return.

Complete game coverage

 
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