1) Introduction: Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy was by far the biggest surprise for the team in 2013. After being projected by many to be drafted in the first round, Lacy fell to the Packers late in round two. He outgained the three running backs taken ahead of him (Giovanni Bernard, Le’Veon Bell and Montee Ball) in both yards and touchdowns and is a candidate for the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Lacy was voted Pro Football Writers Association Rookie of the Year. It can be argued that Lacy was the Packers most valuable player in 2013, as he helped re-establish the run game in the team’s offense and was most key in team’s few wins without quarterback Aaron Rodgers this season.
Eddie Darwin Lacy, Jr.
- Age: 23
- Born: 6/2/1990 in Gretna, LA
- Height: 5’11″
- Weight: 230
- College: Alabama
- Rookie Year: 2013
- NFL Experience: 1 year
3) Expectations coming into the season: Lacy came into this season expected to be part of a running back committee anchored by DuJuan Harris. When Harris went down to a season-ending injury early in training camp, Lacy emerged as the starter, edging out James Starks. The Packers had hoped to bring Lacy along more slowly and as a complimentary back. But he was thrust into action and often carried 25+ times per game.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Lacy’s rookie season was filled with many highlights that delighted the team and fans. He provided something the team had not had since the days of Ahman Green: a reliable running back capable of picking up a tough one yard or breaking one for 50. Lacy’s low light of the season was his only fumble in week one against the San Francisco 49ers along with having to miss two straight games due to a concussion. Lacy’s single biggest highlight was his performance against the Dallas Cowboys where his 60-yard run to start the second half sparked a comeback that was complete with his plunge into the end zone for the go-ahead score. His late and savvy touchdown run against the Bears in Chicago inched the Packers closer to their dramatic comeback win in week 17. Lacy also broke a four-year drought of Packers running backs getting 100 rushing yards during the regular season. He surpassed the century mark three times and went over 90 on two other occasions. Lacy’s hard work was rewarded when he was named to the Pro Bowl as a substitute for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Next to Rodgers, no single player was a bigger part of the Packers’ success this season than was Lacy. His nearly 1,200 rushing yards was the Packers highest total from a single back since 2004 and he is the single biggest reason the team’s ship didn’t sink when Rodgers was lost for eight games. The touchdown run in Chicago showed Lacy’s quick progression in reading the block and being decisive, something many rookie backs struggle with. Lacy also caught 35 balls for nearly 250 yards and will continue to be more of a threat out of the backfield as a receiver. His pass blocking also seemed to improve as the season went along.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Lacy had 81 rushing yards against the 49ers in the wild card round of the playoffs, nearly doubling his total from week one on just seven more carries.
Season Report Card:
(A) Level of expectations met during the season
(A) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(B) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: A-——————
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason Perone: