Quarterbacks rule the roost for most NFL teams. The Green Bay Packers know that better than any but they also have come to realize they can’t live without a ground game. Would a move for Marcus Lattimore fix their issues?
No Cedric Benson has put Aaron Rodgers in a bad spot
There was a time not too long ago when MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers said the Packers didn’t need a ground game to torch defenses in the NFL. Eight games and 28 sacks later he seems to have changed his tune a little. The Green Bay offensive line is on pace to allow 56 sacks on arguably the best passer in pro football. That is not a formula for winning. Worst of all they’ve tried to keep defenses honest on the ground, averaging 25 runs per game but only at 3.7 yards per carry. As a team they have two rushing touchdowns total, fewest in the league. Fans have good reason to feel the Packers don’t need to run with a talent like Rodgers under center but coaches and players know part of successful offense comes from keeping defenses guessing. If the opponents don’t respect the run, they will overwhelm the Packers front with constant pressure and speed. It happened a few times the past few weeks after starting running back Cedric Benson went down with a Lisfranc injury. The truth is the Packers haven’t invested in that roster spot for a long time. Has the time come for that to change?
South Carolina Gamecocks set to move on without star runner
The NFL draft is still far off but it’s reach encircles the entire calendar year. Many experts saw running back as one of the weaker positions going into 2013 but one name was rising up draft boards. That was the South Carolina Gamecocks star Marcus Lattimore. Through nine games the back had piled up 662 yards and 11 touchdowns. He seemed poised for a trip to Radio City Music Hall in April up until a nasty injury to his right knee tore several ligaments. It’s the second such injury the poor kid has suffered in two seasons. That kind of history will almost guarantee he falls out of the first round. However, his teammates and even other players outside the college believe he will battle back. Lattimore recovered from a similar injury last season. For a team like Green Bay he is almost the perfect target: a first round talent who they will likely get to draft in the second round or later. That way the Packers can focus on finding more pass protection for Rodgers.
Marcus Lattimore deserves first round draft status but injuries do more to ruin that dream than anything else in football. The Green Bay Packers win through Aaron Rodgers, but they may find a steal waiting for them if they draft him in the later rounds.
Photo Credit – EOG