The Green Bay Packers played the Oakland Raiders last night in their second game of the 2016 NFL preseason. They ended up pulling out a 20-12 victory and looked a bit better than they did last week.
Eddie Lacy is one of the biggest question marks that the Packers are hoping to answer during preseason action. After seeing him struggle with weight issues last season, there is a lot of concern surrounding him. Last night was a huge step in the right direction for Lacy, as he showed the explosion and athleticism that he didn’t possess last season.
Last season with the Packers, Lacy ended up carrying the football 187 times for 758 yards and three touchdowns, according to ESPN statistics. He didn’t have a terrible season, but it wasn’t the star-caliber statistics that Green Bay got used to the first two seasons of Lacy’s career. Green Bay’s offense took a major hit without Lacy playing at a high level and allowed opposing defenses to focus on limiting Aaron Rodgers.
It was obvious last night against the Raiders that Lacy has cut his weight down and is officially back.
Lacy picked up 45 yards and a touchdown on nine carries against Oakland. He showed off some explosion and speed on a 20-yard run early on in the game as well. That is the Lacy that the Packers need this season and it helps head coach Mike McCarthy’s faith in his talented running back.
Immediately following the 2015 NFL season, Lacy made it clear that he wanted to get back on track. TMZ originally reported that Lacy would work out with P90X founder Tony Horton, and it paid off.
Eddie Lacy showing little doubt he has returned to form -- powering through gang tackles, showing off-tackle wheels.— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) August 19, 2016
At 26-years-old, Lacy knew that the Packers wouldn’t wait around for another year of mediocrity. McCarthy stuck with him through the first year of struggles, but they can’t afford to sit around through another season of lackluster performances. Lacy is fighting for his job and knows that he must be a 1,000-yard back once again this season.
Rodgers’ numbers will soar once again this season with a legitimate ground game taking pressure off of him. Everything about Lacy returning to top form for the Packers will help the offense get back to being one of the most dangerous in the NFL.
Green Bay is favored to win the NFC North division title after losing it to the Minnesota Vikings last season. They are also considered to be one of the top contenders in the NFC. If they play to their full potential, the Packers can hang with any team that they face this season.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what the 2016 season has in store for Lacy and company.
Perhaps last year was needed for Lacy to become the best running back that he can be. Hitting the lowest point seems to have snapped his head back on straight.
Eddie Lacy with a great blitz pickup on third down. Right up the middle. Gave Hundley time to find Adams for the first. #Packers— Michael Cohen (@Michael_Cohen13) August 19, 2016
There is no question that Lacy has the talent to be one of the top running backs in the NFL. He was a big part of the Packers’ success during his first two seasons in the league. Lacy has been overlooked and underrated throughout his career due to playing alongside Rodgers, but it became obvious last season just how much his production means to their overall success.
Expect to see Lacy continue his impressive play moving forward throughout the remainder of preseason action and into the regular season. Green Bay fans should be very excited about what they have seen so far in the first two preseason games and should expect him to regain his form from his first two seasons.
Do you think Eddie Lacy will turn his career around for the Green Bay Packers in 2016? Will the Packers win the NFC North division this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Mike McGinnis/AP Images]