MINNEAPOLIS—If this is what a one-two punch in the running game looks like, the Packers will happily take it.
Injuries in the offensive backfield have made it a chore for the Packers just to have one punch running the football, let alone that one-two combination.
“We’ve put together seven straight games where we’ve been productive on the ground, but the thing with us is guys are never satisfied,” right guard
“It’s no fluke what we’re doing. We’ve worked our (butt) off in practice, all throughout the offseason, to make the running game a point of emphasis, and there’s no better feeling when it pays off on Sunday.”
The ground game got really cranked up in the second half, as Lacy pounded out runs of 9, 11, 9 and 7 yards the first four times he touched the ball to open the third quarter.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played so many long drives in my life,” Lang said. “It seemed like every drive was 14, 15, 16 plays. It wears on you, but it also wears on a defense.”
It also kept the Packers’ defense fresh and allowed them to hold Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson to just 60 yards on 13 carries.
“It almost seemed like there was no first and third quarter because they went by so fast,” defensive lineman
It didn’t seem to matter who was running the ball, but until very late in the game when Lacy’s carries got over two dozen, the Packers seemed to have a fresh pair of legs to grind away. Lacy and Starks are both power backs who can get tough yards as well as turn on the speed in the open field, and they simply wore the Vikings out.
“To be completely honest, we don’t really notice who’s back there,” center
“Like I said, we don’t really know. We go out there and block and those boys run that ball, and it’s been going well.”
Starks had his best game of the season in Week 2 against Washington after Lacy was lost to a concussion. He was off to another strong start in Week 3 at Cincinnati but was knocked out with a knee injury.
That kept him sidelined for the previous three games, so the Lacy-Starks combination had in essence not yet made its debut.
It burst onto the scene in fine fashion on Sunday night. Lacy admitted he was pretty sore after grinding out 29 carries, but having Starks ready and able to give him a breather should help both ball-carriers as the season rolls on.
“Starks came back and contributed a lot, and that means a lot going forward,” Lacy said. “We’re going to have two good backs, three good backs with (Johnathan) Franklin, and we can still pass the ball, so I’m looking forward to see how we’re going to be down the road.”
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