James Starks becomes first Packer to rush for more than 100 yards since 2010
The Green Bay Packers have won 36 regular-season games and lost just 13 since the start of the 2010 season despite the lack of any consistent run game. In three of the last six games of the 2010 regular season — the year Green Bay won the Super Bowl — quarterback Aaron Rodgers was the team’s leading rusher. And the last time the Packers had a player run for more than 100 yards in a game? Well, that was Oct. 10, 2010, when Brandon Graham gained 115 yards on 10 carries in a 16-13 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins.
The Packers faced the Redskins again on Sunday, and again, Green Bay got a 100-yard rushing performance. it took 44 regular-season games in-between, but backup running back James Starks ran 20 times for 132 yards against Washington’s worrisome defense in a 38-20 win. This after starting back Eddie Lacy, who the Packers drafted in 2013 to gain some traction in their ground game, was concussed by Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather. Starks came in the game and not only got things rolling on the ground, but also managed to boot Meriweather from the game with a hit of his own. No doubt Starks and Meriweather will both be hearing from the league this week, but Packers head coach Mike McCarthy will certainly take the result.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that Rodgers was absolutely unconscious in this game, completing of 42 passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns. Rodgers had 335 passing yards at the half, and looked to be in range of the NFL’s single-game passing yardage record of 554 yards set by Norm Van Brocklin of the Los Angeles Rams in 1951.
But it didn’t matter in the end, because Washington’s defense was porous for the second straight week, and an offense led by a still-balky Robert Griffin III couldn’t put any points on the board until the game was well out of reach. In the fourth quarter, Starks ran seven times to Rodgers’ six passing attempts, and the Packers kept the ball for 9:24 of the final 15 minutes.
As for the Redskins, they have to take a step back and worry about two stats: 0-2 (their record right now), and 1,023 — the number of yards their defense has allowed in those two games.
And now, they’ve allowed this little bit of history, per Paul Imig of FOX Sports Wisconsin:
#Packers became first team in NFL history to have a QB throw for 450-plus yards and have a player rush for 125-plus yards in the same game.
— Paul Imig (@Paulimig) September 15, 2013