Brandon Jackson on one of his many fine runs.

See what I did with that headline right there? I toed the company line.

Do I believe it? Well, I’m not an idiot, so no.

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, on the other hand…

Look, I don’t want to get into what a complete turd I think McCarthy is again, so let me get to the point. McCarthy says there is nothing wrong with the Packers running game, despite Brandon Jackson averaging 2.9 yards per carry (36 for 104 yards) and fullback John Kuhn, who’s as fast as molasses in winter, being the Packers biggest rushing threat. Kuhn has 17 carries for 82 yards (4.8 yard average).

The backs aren’t the only problem, though. The Packers offensive line, while adequate in pass protection, has been below average in the running game. Tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are in the Packers backfield more often than quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Overall, the Packers are ranked 22nd in the NFL in rushing offense, at 95.3 yards per game. They’re 19th in average yards per rush at 3.8.

The numbers aren’t terrible, but they’re not good either.

Let’s be clear, neither of the Packers backs are going to get 20 carries a game. Neither of them is going to be Ryan Grant. The Packers are a pass-first (and often) team.

Still, the team is lacking a dimension most contenders possess. Do I expect the Packers to make a trade to address the problem? No. History tells us Ted Thompson will make no such move, even though the Packers seemingly have a legitimate shot of going deep into the playoffs.

What I do expect is the Packers to pass the ball more than ever. I expect Jackson to get fewer carries and Kuhn to get more — Jackson already seems to be getting pushed back into his typical third down role. I expect Dmitri Nance to start getting carries.

I also expect McCarthy to keep coming up with gems like the one he did after the Bears game.

“You have to look at what’s the definition of the run game. I looked at this particular game, and I felt that our running backs were productive,” McCarthy said. “I thought Brandon and John played well with the opportunities that they were given with the ball in their hands and what was put in front of them.

“I thought the running back production was a positive in the game.”

That’s right, folks. There’s nothing to see here. Please move along.

Empty ad slot (#1)!

Related Posts: