That might as well be a headline in The Onion. Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy came out this morning and claimed his team is going to run the football.
McCarthy on #HOUvsGB: We need to stop the run & run the football. That's December football. Those are two focuses this week.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 1, 2016
The funny thing is, McCarthy has been saying the Packers need to run the football all year long. He continually hammered that point when Eddie Lacy was healthy. The most Lacy carried in a game before getting injured this season was 17 times.
After Lacy went down and then James Starks joined him, things got much more unbalanced. We talked about Aaron Rodgers’ league-leading stats over the five-game stretch prior to last week’s win in Philadelphia. The Packers passed a little over 80 percent of the time during that stretch.
Things changed slightly in Philadelphia. The Packers called 22 designed runs vs. their 45 designed pass plays. That’s a little bit better balance, but 17 of those carries went to James Starks. Starks averaged just 2.4 yards per carry in that game and is averaging 2.5 on the season.
Disgustingly atrocious is what those averages are.
The Packers’ leading rusher on the season is still Lacy, with 360 yards. Aaron Rodgers is second with 285 yards.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. If the Packers are going to run the football — we’ll believe that when we see it — and they’re going to have any success, they need to look beyond James Starks. He clearly isn’t getting it done.
Those options would be Ty Montgomery, who was successful as a back when Starks was sidelined, and Christine Michael, who has been given but one carry since being claimed from Seattle.
We’re all for running the football, but let’s come up with a game plan that’s actually going to be successful in doing so.