If ever there was a time when Eddie Lacy and the Packers' running game was needed, Sunday was it.
With a hobbled Aaron Rodgers visibly struggling with an injured calf, Lacy and James Starks were able to provide the kind of relief needed to get the Packers over the top.
Green Bay finished with 119 yards on 30 attempts for a respectable 4.0-yard average. Lacy led the way with 101 yards on 19 carries for a solid 5.3-yard average.
"We like to believe the running game is important no matter what the status of anybody is," fullback John Kuhn said. "We take that same mentality, that same approach, in Week 1 as we did today in the playoffs. A balanced offense is ultimately the offense that gives the defense the most amount of trouble. We just want to be balanced, spread the ball around and create opportunities everywhere."
Lacy carried the ball seven times for 45 yards on the Packers' opening scoring drive, but sat out the next series with what he called "breathing problems" because of his lifelong asthma condition. It wasn't the first time his asthma has forced him to the sideline, and he said it is frustrating.
"It's definitely more mental than physical because you know your body is good enough for you to go out and play, but you just can't breathe,'' Lacy said. "It's a breathing thing. It's not something you want to go out and risk something bad happening. There's nothing I can do about it. It's just a medical condition. I take my inhaler. I do everything I'm supposed to do. When it happens, it just happens."
Lacy said he told running backs coach Sam Gash, who inserted Starks.
"I had a really good first drive,'' he said. "Seven carries or something like that. I don't know what the yards were. I had a pretty good first drive and then, I don't know."
Lacy was back on the field the next time the Packers had the ball and later had a 27-yard run that led to a third-quarter field goal.
After the game he was he was fine.
"I feel good," he said. "Physically I feel good."