Eric Goska column: Lacy falls off record-setting pace

Nov. 17, 2013
ES_GPG_Packers vs. Giants_11.17.13
Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy tries to elude a New York Giants defender on a fourth-quarter run during Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
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Seven-game stretch

Packers running backs and their greatest number of attempts over a 7-game stretch during a single season.

171Ahman Green2003
167Dorsey Levens1997
161Ryan Grant2008
160Edgar Bennett1995
157Eddie Lacy2013
154John Brockington1973
145Jim Taylor1962


Eddie Lacy’s string is over.

Lacy’s bid to match Ahman Green’s team record of seven straight games with 20 or more carries ended on the FieldTurf of MetLife Stadium. Scant first-half touches coupled with Green Bay’s need to play catch-up short-circuited his opportunity in the Packers’ 27-13 loss to the Giants.

Yet even with a lighter workout than usual, the hard-charging rookie got enough reps to join a select group. The bull in a china shop became one of the prized few in Packers history to carry more than 150 times over a seven-game stretch in a season.

Individual 20-carry outings don’t generate the same excitement as do 100-yard rushing performances, because a heavy workload does not guarantee production. But, if nothing else, repeat business signifies a player is dependable and a team’s best option.

Lacy has been that and more for Green Bay. He’s been the team’s leading rusher eight times in 10 games.

He again paced the Packers on Sunday, but his totals were down. He gained 27 yards on 14 attempts and accounted for Green Bay’s only touchdown, that a hard-fought, 4-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Lacy had seven runs in each half. He gained 14 yards in the first half and 13 after the break.

The Packers’ failure to sustain a drive in the opening two quarters limited him. Green Bay ran 19 plays, failing to reach 20 in the first half for only the fifth time under coach Mike McCarthy.

Quarterback Scott Tolzien and the offense orchestrated but six first-quarter plays. Lacy carried all four times he was on the field.

He then sat out the team’s third drive — its longest of the half — before returning late in the second quarter. He ran three times on a drive highlighted by tight end Brandon Bostick’s 26-yard catch-and-run.

Lacy’s longest first-half gain was 4 yards. He and James Starks (two carries; minus-1 yard) failed to earn a first down on the ground.

He reeled off his longest run — 5 yards — on a third-quarter drive that ended with M.D. Jennings coming up short on a fake punt. He dragged bodies on an end-zone stampede to pull Green Bay to 20-13.

Lacy has shouldered much of the load since returning from a concussion in early October. For six straight games beginning with the Lions, he rushed 23, 23, 22, 29, 22 and 24 times.

Over that span, he piled up 618 yards. His best efforts came against the Ravens (120) and Bears (150).

Throw in his 14 rushes in New York and Lacy has carried 157 times in his last seven games. Green, Dorsey Levens, Ryan Grant and Edgar Bennett are the only Packers to have had more rushing attempts in a seven-game stretch that didn’t spill over from one season to the next.

Green set the standard during his record-breaking 2003 campaign. The hard-working back accounted for nearly half (171) of his single-season team record 355 attempts during a seven-game run that included most of October and November.

With 172 carries to date, Lacy likely will not threaten Green’s record. But No. 27 is on pace for 275 attempts, which would smash the team record for a rookie (216) set by John Brockington in 1971.

Extra points

■ Lacy already has one Packers record to his name. His six games of 20 or more carries is a rookie best, one better than the five Samkon Gado rang up in 2005.

■ Green’s 46 games with 20 or more carries are the most by a Green Bay back. Taylor (32), Brockington (25), Levens (21) and Grant (18) round out the top five.

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