Eddie Lacy began the season as the undisputed starter at running back after a stellar 2013 season which saw him gain offensive rookie-of-the-year honors for the Green Bay Packers. Lacy’s surprise breakout season had the Packers hoping that he would develop into the premium three down back that they had not enjoyed since the days of Ahman Green.
Eddie Darwin Lacy, Jr.
- Age: 24
- Born: 6/2/1990 in Gretna, LA
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 230
- College: Alabama
- Rookie Year: 2013
- NFL Experience: 2 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: With Coach Mike McCarthy declaring that his offense would be more balanced between run and pass, it was assumed that Lacy would be the workhorse at running back and in the process pile on even more yardage to exceed the almost 1170 rushing yards from his 2013 season. Lacy had also proven during his rookie year that he was more than a one-trick-pony and could offer Aaron Rodgers yet another dependable receiver as a reliable three down back. Durability was perhaps his only possible limitation to having an All-Pro type season. With hard-charging complimentary back James Starks and elusive DuJuan Harris there was hope that Lacy could be kept relatively fresh and injury free for the 2014 campaign.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: For the most part Lacy was healthy and played in every game, something he could not accomplish his rookie year when a concussion sidelined him for 2 games. In 2014 Lacy was the seventh leading rusher with 1140 total rushing yards, down slightly from last year. He recorded over 100 yards from scrimmage 7 times and rushed for over 100 yards on three occasions. He had his first breakout game of the year on Thursday Night Football where a national audience saw him rush for 105 yards while recording two touchdowns.
In the crucial Detroit Lions game in week 17, defensive tackle George Johnson forced a fumble by Lacy, which was recovered by strong safety James Ihedigbo. Although the Packers went on to win the game, the fumble stalled an important first half drive when the Packers appeared to be in the process of putting the Lions away.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Although there were no great surprises as there was during his rookie year season, Lacy was still a vital part of the Packers offense. His yards per carry was a respectable 4.7 and his touchdowns increased to 13 during the season, tied for the best in the league by any running back. Although his impact via rushing was comparable to 2013 he greatly improved his receiving where he tallied 42 receptions for 427 yards and his yards gained per catch rose from 7.1 to 10.2. Using his signature spin-move Lacy’s elusiveness, as measured by Pro Football Focus, translated to an impressive 71.1 rating, second in the league to only Marshawn Lynch. His pass blocking also improved to a 97.8 efficiency rating per PFF, fifth best of any running back in the league.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: His contribution in the playoffs was negligible. When the team needed to eat up time and yardage late against the Seahawks, he couldn’t get it done, however Mike McCarthy’s play-calling was certainly partly to blame. His postseason totaled 40 rushing attempts for 174 yards but he failed to score.
7.) Intangibles: Lacy is a young, talented ascending player and certainly a cornerstone of the franchise. He has improved in the areas of pass-blocking and receiving to the point that he can now be an effective three down back. New running backs coach Sam Gash has worked extensively with Lacy to minimize the direct hits that he absorbs which should translate to less time-off due to injuries and a longer career. Look for Lacy to become a Marshawn Lynch type game-changer for years to come.
Season Report Card (Player Grades):
(A) Level of expectations met during the season
(A) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C+) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: A-——————
Jeff Albrecht grew up just north of Green Bay and was lucky enough to attend some of the Lombardi Era classic games, like the 1962 championship and the Ice Bowl. Jeff went on to play HS football in the Green Bay area and College ball at UW - Stevens Point. Jeff is retired but still does some writing for his local paper. Jeff is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @pointerjeff .