An increased workload was the biggest factor in Eddie Lacy’s production Sunday, but it wasn’t the only reason the Green Bay Packers tailback had his best game of the season.
Lacy said the game looked slower against the Minnesota Vikings, when he hit the 100-yard mark (on 22 carries) for the first time this season. He was more decisive, more aggressive. And, Lacy said, he took advantage of running lanes the offensive line opened.
“I just made up my mind,” Lacy said, “and I went with it. I didn’t try to make too much of a play, or try to make a cut where a cut wasn’t. Pretty much just seeing it, and just hit it. And I had a lower pad level, so when I ran into cuts, I was still able to fall forward.”
Lacy said he found a rhythm against the Vikings that had been missing through the season’s first eight games. “Zoned out,” he called it. It helped that he had a continuous workload.
Lacy carried the football 17 times in the second half, more than six of his previous eight games this season.
Eventually, Lacy wore out the Vikings’ defense. Needing one first down to end the game, Lacy’s final run of 9 yards allowed the Packers to ice the clock. Of Lacy’s nine carries in the fourth quarter, five were at least 5 yards in distance.
Lacy’s workload could be important Thursday night against the Chicago Bears. Lacy carried the football at least 18 times in three games this season, averaging 4.6 yards per rush in those games. In his other six games, Lacy has averaged 2.89 yards per carry.
“I’ve said for a while that Eddie’s a 20-carry guy,” left guard Josh Sitton said. “If we can get him 20 carries, we’re going to be successful.”
Lacy said he’s aware how important his production is to the Packers’ offense. Following his most exhaustive game this season, he’s adjusted his routine to get ready on a short week. Each day, Lacy said, he’s visited the cold and hot tubs after practice. That isn’t part of his preparation on a normal week, he said.
Weather could also increase the importance of a heavy run game Thursday night. There’s a 95 percent chance of precipitation, which could make it harder to throw the football. Lacy said he’ll adjust to the rain, handling the football with his bare hands instead of wearing gloves.
Either way, Lacy said, he’ll be ready to play.
“I know whenever we’re able to get a big run or we run over a defender,” Lacy said, “it jacks up our offensive line. They just get antsy, and they can’t wait to go to the next play. So they just play hard. So, definitely, I like knowing that whatever I can contribute to the team definitely helps boost it.”
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