The Packers have lost that running feeling
The Green Bay Packers coming from a division that have two of the top rushers of all-time with Walter Payton and Barry Sanders would give a hint to Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy that they need to run the ball more with Cedric Benson, but apparently they didn’t get the hint passing 76% of the plays they called last Sunday. I understand that you have Aaron Rodgers and were playing the San Francisco 49ers who were number one against stopping the run last season, but this Packers team will need to find balance if they want to kiss the Lombardi again in the future. Cedric Benson carrying the ball 9 times for 18 yards is nothing to brag about and this needs to be fixed, for the Packers going forward, but this is a trend that the Packers can’t seem to break. Over the last three seasons the Packer called running plays only 43% of the time and the Packers have not had a one thousand yard rusher since 2009 with Ryan Grant who is no longer a member of the team. However any Super Bowl team has to find balance in order to make it harder on other teams to play against you.
When the Indianapolis Colts in 2006 wanted a Super Bowl run, they reduced their amount of passes for Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes. When the Cardinals needed to take pressure off Kurt Warner in 2009, they enlisted a boost from Edgerrin James in the Playoffs as the runner to take some pressure off Warner. The Packers even found balance with James Starks in 2010 all the way to the Super Bowl. Teams have to find balance in the regular season or at least in the postseason in order to catch teams off guard or make it harder to game plan against you. The Packers had their lowest rushing percentage last season with 42% and look what happened to the Packers when they faced the New York Giants in the first divisional round.
The Giants made the Packers one-dimensional and we all know the ultimate result of that game. Now we need to look to the future and learn from that loss, but the Packers are doing the definition of stupidity, which is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. The Packers brought in Cedric Benson to breathe some life into the Packer run game and he hasn’t done it yet and certainly wasn’t going to do it against the San Francisco 49ers, but Benson should have at least got more carries. Five of the carries were from Aaron Rodgers rushing which equates to nothing, because quarterbacks shouldn’t be your best rusher unless you’re talking about Michael Vick in the 2000’s. If the Packers want to win a Super Bowl again, they will need Aaron Rodgers, but they also will need to find a running game and if they don’t, it will be a disappointing season once again.
James Cobern is an Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.