Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Run To Win

Boy, those empty-backfield-five-wide-receiver-pistol-formation-throw-it-on-every-down-offenses sure are fun to watch.  Until the starting quarterback you relied upon to make all of the proper reads and to throw with pinpoint accuracy to the "hot route" to beat the blitz gets hurt--and the second string guy has no idea what is going on.

That is what the Green Bay Packers faced last night--and may face for the next couple of weeks--depending on the severity of Aaron Rodgers' shoulder injury.  I thought for sure that Seneca Wallace's first pass as a Packer--a deflected interception by a defensive lineman--would also be his last pass as a Packer.  And for a couple of series it looked like Mike McCarthy was going to accept the oldest truism in the NFL: You Run To Win The Game.

As a Packers fan, you had to be thrilled to watch Eddie Lacy and James Starks running the football for consistant--and sometimes explosive--gains for most of the first half and the early part of the second half.  You had to be relieved that there was little chance of disaster occurring so long as they held on to the ball.  You had to be happy that the ground game was chewing up not only yardage but time on the clock--keeping what appeared to be an ill-prepared Packers defense off the field.  Running the football--and dominating the special teams--was giving your team a chance to win with a QB that couldn't hit the broadside of Lambeau Field with most of his passes.

It was almost Bizzaro Night on Twitter--as the Packers reporters and fans that I follow adopted the mantra that I chant incessantly during Badgers games "RUN THE BALL!!"--instead of their usual "THROW IT TO JORDY!!"  And there was much frustration and anger when Coach McCarthy went away from that very successful strategy every time he got into the Red Zone for the final third of the game--allowing the Bears to rally for the victory.

For years, Mike McCarthy promised balance in the Packers offense--and then would abandon that after the first two runs of a game garnered 4-yards.  It appeared that he was finally going to make good on that promise this season--with 100-yard rushers in four straight games.  Now if A-Rod is out for an extended period of time, we might finally see the total awakening to the fact that he stands his best chance by going Ground and Pound.

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