Before running back Cedric Benson sustained his foot injury on Sunday at Indianapolis, the Packers were the picture of perfect offensive balance.
Benson got hurt on their 17th offense play. To that point, they had eight designed running plays, eight drop backs to pass and one quarterback scramble.
After Benson’s Lisfranc injury, which could end his season, the Packers ran just 14 times and dropped back to pass 30 times.
For the season, the Packers have run the ball on just 34.5 percent of their plays.
On Sunday, they will face one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL, the Houston Texans, who have run the ball on 54.1 percent of their plays. It helps to have one of the game’s premier running backs in Arian Foster. And at 5-0, the Texans can run the ball to milk the clock and protect their leads.
But it also takes a commitment to the running game, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said this morning on a conference call with reporters who cover the Packers.
“I think you’ve got to be committed to it,” Kubiak said. “It’s so easy in this league to, you know with an injury or two, or getting down by 10 in a game or something to just abandon things and go one way or another. I think our biggest thing is we’re committed to running the ball, and it’s essential for our football team to have success.
"We do want to be balanced, but we also have the belief that if we go out there and we have to throw it 50 times because we’re in that type of football game, we can do that too. It’s just a belief, something that we teach from day one and something that we try to stay as close to as we can and try not to waver and have ourselves panic in certain situations and try to just stick to it.”