Green Bay Packers: Sloppy weather further strains offense


The Green Bay Packers are expecting some very wet field conditions this Sunday at Lambeau, putting an even greater importance on their rushing attack

It’s a wet forecast in Wisconsin this weekend, where the Green Bay Packers will face the Dallas Cowboys as they look to ride their Hail Mary momentum to a widened lead in the NFC North. Green Bay is expecting 40-50mm of rain this Sunday, reaching the heaviest precipitation levels earlier in the day before reducing to a light rain before kickoff. This could put a sopping-wet spotlight back on the Packers running game.

The running back group has already been under a great deal of scrutiny this week after Eddie Lacy‘s quick fall from grace. Lacy reportedly missed curfew despite being inside the hotel, leaving him benched for the majority of Green Bay’s week 13 win over the Detroit Lions. Third-string back Alonzo Harris, who was with Lacy at the time, was released from the team in favor of fellow undrafted rookie John Crockett.

More from Green Bay Packers

Essentially, rain games give an advantage to the player that is already moving. Starting and stopping become far more difficult, making it important to establish the running game or get the ball to moving receivers in open areas which puts a flat-footed defender at a disadvantage.

This matchup and these circumstances line up perfectly for 25 carries from Eddie Lacy, but despite the optimism expressed by head coach Mike McCarthy about his role going forward, he still may not get the opportunity. Lacy did enjoy his strongest game of the season on Thanksgiving, however, in a rainy loss to the Chicago Bears.

Lacy ran for 105 yards on 17 carries that day, adding four receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown. He did, however, cough up a costly fumble. Green Bay’s passing offense couldn’t come close to solving the elements that day, with Randall Cobb‘s six catches for 74 yards leading all wide receivers. Davante Adams, the only other wideout to catch a ball that day, finished with two catches for 14 yards in arguably the poorest showing of his young career.

Aaron Rodgers‘ Hail Mary magic saved the day against Detroit, but it covered up what was another undeniably average day for the offense. With the downfield game still not working and wet conditions doing nothing to help that, we may be in for another week of small ball.

Cobb will obviously play a strong role in this, but keep an eye on Ty Montgomery, who could return from a lengthy ankle injury this week. Crossing routes and bubble screens could be a valuable piece of strategy using the strong rookie. John Crockett could factor in as well, and I’d be especially pleased to see him take a share of the work from Starks in the screen game.

Next: Five must-start fantasy options for week 14 and why!

Establishing some sort of early offense this Sunday will force Matt Cassel to throw the football. Which, for a man paid to throw footballs, he’s awfully poor at. More importantly, though, it will hinder the Cowboy’s ability to lean solely on their own running game. That elite Dallas offensive line plowing forward in the mud could spell disaster for the Green Bay front seven, regardless of who’s carrying the rock.

Packers fans continue to wait on the return of the offense they’ve grown familiar with over the past several years. It may still be coming, but given the external factors this week, they may be forced to put their downfield aerial assault on hold. Again.