The Green Bay Packers are without question one of the most intriguing teams to keep an eye on heading into the 2016 NFL season. After finishing the 2015 season in overtime against the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, the Packers are hoping to become Super Bowl contenders once again.
Eddie Lacy is one of the most important players for the Packers this season and they will need him to come through with a big year.
Last year was a brutal season for Lacy, as he struggled with being overweight. He ended up carrying the football 187 times for 758 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers may not look too terrible, but they were far from the expectations that were set for him after his first two NFL seasons.
Mike McCarthy stated that he will not be giving up playcalling duties again in an interview with Tom Pelissero of USA Today. That should mean that Lacy will be just as big a part of the offense as he has always been in the past.
Lacy has always been utilized heavily by McCarthy and the Packers’ head coach is the only reason that Lacy is still the starting running back. Most coaches would have cut him loose after the shape that he showed up in last offseason. Instead, the Packers and McCarthy stuck with Lacy and are giving him one last chance to prove that he can be a starting NFL running back.
At 26 years old, there is no reason that Lacy can’t turn his career around. If he gets himself back in shape, he should be right back where he was in his first two seasons.
According to a report from TMZ, Lacy worked out with P90X creator Tony Horton this offseason to help get himself back in shape. It’s a good start, but he’ll have to prove himself on the field before fans start to trust him again.
Aaron Rodgers suffered through a bit of a down season last year. Even though he still put up solid all-around numbers, he wasn’t his dominant self. Part of the reason was due to the fact that opposing defenses were able to focus on shutting him down without any threat of the running game hurting them.
James Starks is a solid backup running back, but there is no chance that he will strike fear into the hearts of defenses. Lacy, on the other hand, is a physically intimidating presence when he is in shape.
Green Bay is still considered the favorite to win the NFC North division in 2016. They were knocked off in Week 17 last season by the Minnesota Vikings, which ended up being the deciding game to hand the Vikings the division title. It is obvious that the Packers are hungry to take the title back this year.
It will be interesting to see what kind of season Lacy puts together in 2016. He could very well be playing for his future with the Packers. Green Bay won’t sit around and hope that he figures things out for another season if there are attractive options in free agency at the running back position.
Expect to see Lacy get back on track for the Packers this season. He should rush for 1,000 yards again if Green Bay gives him the type of workload that he is expected to receive. Nothing is holding Lacy back from being a serious threat once again and the Packers will be a much more dangerous team if he figures things out.
Do you think Eddie Lacy will get his career back on track during the 2016 NFL season? Will the Green Bay Packers re-take the NFC North division title? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini]