Based off of the team's first seven games, it really looks like Lacy was a steal.
The Packers easily beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football in Week 8, scoring 44 points in the process. They put up 464 total yards of offense, averaging 6.4 yards per play. On the ground, they ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Lacy was a big part of that, running for 94 yards and a score on 29 carries.
The offense for Green Bay looks a lot different in 2013 than it has in previous seasons. Aaron Rodgers continues to play at a high level, but now there is a legitimate running game. The Packers currently rank fourth in the NFL in rushing, averaging 141.4 yards per game on the ground while picking up 4.8 yards per carry.
With the addition of Lacy, it really looks like the Packers could make another run at a Super Bowl in 2013.
Since returning from his concussion, Lacy has been a huge part of the offense. He's had at least 22 carries in every game, and he's put up a total of 395 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He may be just a rookie, but Lacy's skill-set makes him an ideal workhorse running back
With Lacy as the starter, it gives the other running backs more ideal roles in the offense. James Starks was huge in the 2010 playoffs, but we've seen that he struggles to stay healthy, playing in just 22 games during his first three seasons. Just this season, he's already missed another three games with a knee injury, but was able to come back this past week and run for 57 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries.
Starks isn't a running back that you can give 15-20 carries every game, but as the secondary guy, he can make big plays and hopefully be able to stay healthy.
While Johnathan Franklin has had some issues with fumbles to start his career, everyone saw that he can be an explosive player out of the backfield during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He ran for 103 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, but that late fumble cost the team the game.
He may not be a player that sees the field a lot this season, but that means that Franklin can focus on getting better and developing as an NFL running back, making the most of his opportunities when his name is called.
Along with giving the other running backs more ideal roles, Lacy is also opening up the passing game, and that's going to continue to be the case as defenses start preparing more and more for him. By carrying the ball 29 times this past week, the Vikings started preparing more for the run, and Rodgers made them pay. He completed almost 83 percent of his passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns, showing no signs of struggle during the game.
In the last four games since Lacy has returned, Rodgers has thrown for 1,134 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception. With Lacy heating up and Randall Cobb and James Jones set to come back before the playoffs, just imagine how frightening this team would be.
The Packers were able to win the Super Bowl in 2010 thanks to the emergence of Starks, who came out of nowhere and ran for 315 yards and a touchdown in four playoff games. With Lacy already putting up these numbers and the team slowly getting more healthy, this could be another great season for Green Bay.
Tyler Brooke is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, focusing on the Packers, Colts, and the NFL in general. His work has been featured on ESPN.com, CNN.com, SI.com, and a number of other great sites. Follow Tyler on Twitter @TylerDBrooke
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