The Minnesota Vikings defense kept leaving two safeties deep Sunday, daring the Green Bay Packers to run the football.
Little did they know the dilemma it presented the Packers. Coach Mike McCarthy said he knew Eddie Lacy was struggling with a stomach illness. It didn't prevent the second-year tailback from receiving a season-high 25 carries, along with a season-high 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
"I think it's really just a credit to Eddie," McCarthy said. "He's a heck of a football player. Just for him to go out and have that performance in that situation I think speaks volumes to the type of person he is."
Lacy went through a "regeneration workout" Monday and lifted weights. McCarthy said the running back still felt "a little under the weather."
"It's something that we're still monitoring," McCarthy said.
Lacy's best game of the year put him on pace to for 977 rushing yards, within reach of his second 1,000-yard season. He's also on pace for 1,464 total yards and 13 touchdowns, 29 more yards and two more touchdowns than his rookie of the year season.
Lacy has especially beaten up on the Vikings this season. In two games, he has 230 yards on 38 carries and four total touchdowns. In his nine other games, Lacy has 442 yards on 116 carries and five total touchdowns.
"He's a load," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters after the game. "He's tough to tackle."
Zimmer told reporters after the game his defense needed to "pick your spots" against the Packers' explosive offense. That meant two high safeties and fewer defenders in the box to stop the run.
It's a look most defenses haven't shown for extended periods, stubbornly staying in a one high safety formation and opening up the Packers' passing game. McCarthy said Green Bay's running game was "satisfying." Offensive coordinator Tom Clements agreed.
"It shows that we can win a game a different way than we have been winning, by scoring a lot of points early and having the opponent down by halftime by a large margin," Clements said. "If you can win games, then you have to find ways to win each week. Yesterday, we found a way to do it.
"I don't know if it's important to prove it. I think we felt we can do it anyway."
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