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Rants and Raves: Starks steps up with Lacy hobbled

Dec. 29, 2013
 

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Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) ran for 88 yards on 11 carries in Sunday's win over the Chicago Bears. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media

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• Rave: James Starks showed his value as a No. 2 halfback, rushing 11 times for 88 yards and catching a pass for 7 yards. His 11 carries were his most since Eddie Lacy was injured in the second game of the season and sat out Week 3. With Lacy not at 100 percent with a nagging ankle injury, the Packers’ offense hasn’t missed a beat with Starks in the lineup.

• Rant: The Packers gave back the momentum they had built at the end of the first half by going three-and-out on the opening possession of the second half. Facing third-and-1 at the 29, Aaron Rodgers threw incomplete to Jarrett Boykin, forcing a punt. Why not run on that play? Especially after Starks had just gone off left guard for 8 yards.

• Rave: Chicago came in with one of the most dynamic receiving duos in the NFL in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. But Packers cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Sam Shields kept them mostly in check. Jeffery was targeted eight times, but caught only three passes for 80 yards. Marshall had six catches for 74 yards. Both were below their season averages of a combined 11.25 catches for 160.13 yards per game.

• Rant: Devin Hester didn’t look like a 31-year-old returner. He started with a 39-yard return of the opening kickoff, added a 49-yard punt return after the Packers went three-and-out to start the second half, and made things interesting at the end of the game when he took a lateral from Dante Rosario and went 29 yards to give the Bears the ball at their 40 with 31 seconds left.

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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