The Green Bay Packers got one heck of a steal in Eddie Lacy after selecting him in the second round in 2013. Since then, his return on investment has paid off in full and more. Lacy is only the second running back in Packers team history to have run for 1000 yards in each of his first two seasons since John Brockington in 1971 and 1972.
Along with Brockington, he joins a group of only five running backs from the Packers to record consecutive 1000 yard seasons ever. The other running backs include Ryan Grant, Ahman Green, and Jim Taylor; a great group to be associated with if you’re Packers running back.
Lacy is entering his third year in the league and after two stellar seasons to begin his career, we can expect the trend to continue. Barring any injury, Lacy should easily be in the top three running backs of the league this season.
Lacy has an advantage that most running backs don’t have, a solid offensive line. For the first time in a decade, the Packers will finally have the same starting line for a second straight season, and a talented offensive line to add.
This year’s Packers regular season schedule is relatively light in terms of having opponent with top ranked rush defenses. Lacy’s toughest opponents for this year should be the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks.
One thing that Lacy has going for him is that he’ll be playing against the Seattle defense at Lambeau Field and not Century Link Field, something the entire team can be relieved about.
The Detroit Lions use to be a tough opponent in the run game for the Packers. But in the offsesaon, they lost Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley to free agency. Despite adding veteran nose tackle Haloti Ngata in free agency, the Lions could still struggle to contain the bruising running style of Lacy.
There’s another team that Lacy will have to face twice a year that could prove to be a challenge to conquer. The Minnesota Vikings.
Mike Zimmer is building a young team with a prototypical defense to stop the Packers explosive offense. The Vikings have bolstered their linebacker core this year with the addition of Eric Kendricks through the draft. Kendricks will pair up with Chad Greenway, Audi Cole, and Anthony Barr, a formidable force for stopping the run.
As for stats, we can assume that the Packers aren’t going to want to run their star running back into the ground this year. A stat-line of similar numbers from last year is what I’d expect Lacy to put up this year. 250 carries, 1150 yards rushing, and 11 rushing touchdowns is my prediction for Lacy’s production this year. It could be even more if the offensive line continues to work together and get better.