Running Towards Daylight...And Getting Stuffed

Green Bay's offense has been heavy on the pass this season.  Part of that is because the main concentration of talent on offense is in the passing game, but the running attack hasn't been able to take pressure off of Aaron Rodgers and company.

As a team, Green Bay has ran for 399 yards and 4 TDs.  Through four games, those averages aren't terrible, but they aren't very good either.  Ryan Grant has been underwhelming to say the least, and DeShawn Wynn is not as impressive as I thought he would be.  Aaron Rodgers honestly looks like the best runner on the team, and that's a problem.

Several people (myself included) have wondered aloud why the team seems to abandon the run later in games.  An obvious question to ask is the difference in production between the first and second halves.  Here's what I found:

 

1st Half

2nd Half

Attempts

45

49

Yards

142

255

Average

3.1

5.2

TD

3

1



That's right, the team averages over 2 ypc more in the second half of games in 2009.  Ryan Grant in particular has been better after halftime; his average increases from 3.0 to 4.8.  Aaron Rodgers also runs better in the second half, where he averages 6.7 yards per carry, but that's likely a product of the quarterback figuring out that the offensive line can't protect him. 

I simply cannot figure out why this discrepancy exists.  If anything, I thought the first half production would outweigh the second half.  However, Green Bay had a horrible time running the ball in the first half against Chicago, and Grant only received 11 carries in last week's game against Minnesota, so that might be skewing the numbers.

So what do you guys think?  Does Green Bay need to focus on establishing the run sooner in games?  Or should we take advantage of opposing defenses softening up in the latter half of games?  Is the patchwork offensive line even capable of opening up running lanes?  Or are the Packers suffering from a serious talent deficiency in their running backs?

UPDATE: Thanks to a few subtle hints in the comments, I decided to post the same table without Rodgers' rushing stats.  Here you go.

 

1st Half

2nd Half

Attempts

41

36

Yards

126

167

Average

3.0

4.6

TD

3

0

As you can see, the 2nd half ypc drops by over half a yard, but is still significantly higher than the first half.  So my questions still apply.

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