Tha Sports Junkies 101

What To Watch For Preseason Week Two: Packers Running Game

Running Game Jake Petroski via Flickr


Green Bay Looks To Get Running Game Rolling In Washington

The Packers’ running game remains one of the biggest questions surrounding the team heading into the 2017 NFL season. In their first preseason game, the Packers put up 24 points while holding the Eagles to just 9. The quarterbacks looked good, producing over 250 yards of offense. Green Bay was abysmal when running the ball, totaling less than a fifth of the yardage produced through the air. Ex-wide receiver Ty Montgomery and the rookie running backs will need to get their feet under them in Washington.

The Starter

Ty Montgomery looked like anything but the running back from last year’s campaign in his first game back. Montgomery ran the ball three times for zero yards last week. His longest carry went for five yards but was quickly followed by a fumble. After dropping the ball on the ground just once last season, it was disheartening to see on the first drive.

However, the good news is that this sample size of Montgomery is much smaller than that of last season. Montgomery led the Packers in rushing last year with 457 on just 77 carries (via Pro Football Reference). That comes out to be 5.9 yards-per-carry, which would be highest among running backs if Montgomery had 23 more carries. Additionally, he carried the ball more than 10 times just once last season but had great production. In that week 13 game, the Stanford alumni posted 162 yards on just 16 carries.

The Rookies

The rookie running backs had their ups and downs during their first time on the big stage. Jamaal Williams was the only back to show much promise last week versus the Eagles. His 14 yards on four carries led the Packers running backs in preseason week one. Kalif Phillips added four more yards on three carries, while the other running backs could not pick up another yard. Specifically, William Stanback and Aaron Jones ran the ball for a combined four times, producing zero yards.

Heading into Saturday’s game in Washington, who will be backing up Ty Montgomery remains a valid question. Jamaal Williams seems to lead the pack of hungry rookies, but the depth chart is far from set in stone. Devante Mays has yet to show anything out of the backfield and will get his opportunity come Saturday evening. If any of these running backs want to burst onto the depth chart, then they must start breaking some tackles.