Packers Teammates of the Week: Running Backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

In the NFL, you need to rely on your teammates in order to win. This week, the Packers' running backs answered the call and earned Teammates of the Week honors, brought to you by Call of Duty: Ghosts.

The most valuable teammates are those who better the players around them and pick those players up when needed. Certainly the Packers, with their "next man up" mentality, have plenty of such groups of players.

This week, no group of teammates impressed more than the running backs. On an offense decimated by injuries to Randall Cobb, James Jones, and Jermichael Finley, the running backs found a way to sustain the success against the Minnesota Vikings and help put 44 points on the board.

The suddenly resurgent James Starks provided another solid performance in his first action since the Cincinnati game while his counterpart Eddie Lacy continues to validate the praise Mike McCarthy and the offensive coaches bestow upon him. Lacy wore down defenders with his physical running style the entire contest, setting up Starks to clean up on his 25 yard touchdown gallop in the fourth quarter.

Perhaps more impressive than the rushing figures was the team's time of possession. One issue that has troubled the Packers these past few years is the ability to slow down the pace of the game and run out the clock. That no longer appears to be the case with Lacy and Starks running the ball so effectively. The duo's 36 run plays played the largest role in netting the Packers a time of possession of 40 minutes and 54 seconds, by far their best such figure this season.

The emergence of Lacy and Starks has also allowed McCarthy to call a near even amount of runs to pass plays. Of the Packers' 73 offensive plays, 36 were designed runs. While the value of play calling balance is often distorted, Green Bay needed to lean on its ground game and the running backs delivered.

The combined efforts of the running backs made them the obvious choice for Teammates of the Week.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, and his work has appeared on Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, and the List Universe.

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