GREEN BAY—The holes were big, and they were plentiful.
After four games finding very little running room, Packers running back Eddie Lacy enjoyed some rather wide lanes right from the get-go on Thursday night.
He ripped off back-to-back runs of 18 and 29 yards on the Packers’ second possession, on his way to a 13-carry, 105-yard, two-touchdown night in Green Bay’s 42-10 blowout of Minnesota at Lambeau Field.
“It felt great,” said Lacy, who posted his first 100-yard rushing game since Week 15 at Dallas last December. “The offensive linemen opened up big holes and it was all about hitting it, getting north and south and seeing how far you could get before you get tackled.”
Lacy was maximizing on those runs, too. He said running backs coach Sam Gash pointed out in the film room he had been putting on the “air brakes,” or slowing down before or without contact, rather than dropping his pads in the hole.
He was much more hard-charging on Thursday, especially on the second level, much to the Vikings’ chagrin. He steamrolled more than one defender on the night, none more visibly than on his second TD run, a 10-yard burst late in the third quarter.
“It was just me and the safety, and it was a business decision on his behalf, so I just lowered my pads and went from there,” Lacy said. “His helmet came off.”
The 78,054 in attendance at Lambeau Field loved it, as did his teammates.
“You see Eddie run that guy over, knock his helmet off for a touchdown, that gets everybody going,” defensive lineman Mike Daniels said. “Just good, solid, tough football.”
Model of efficiency: Jordy Nelson caught only one pass, but he was fine with it.
“Absolutely,” Nelson said. “As long as it’s 66 yards and a touchdown.”
Nelson’s TD came on a classic play-action deep shot, with Nelson getting Vikings safety Harrison Smith turned around with a double move and then breaking into the clear to haul in Aaron Rodgers’ rainbow throw.
“We got it called at the right time, again hit the perfect coverage on it,” Nelson said. “They played cover-two, allowed me to get one-on-one with the safety, and they’re put in a bad situation. I have a two-way go on him. We’ve hit it a couple times in the past, and it was great to get back to it.”
Nelson’s league-leading totals for receptions and yards (he’s now at 34 catches for 525 yards) may not hold up through the weekend now, but he won’t complain.
Interestingly, at halftime three Packers had one catch apiece, all for TDs – Nelson, Randall Cobb and rookie Davante Adams.
Cobb’s was his sixth TD reception of the season, breaking a tie atop the league rankings, for now.
“That means nothing,” Cobb said. “As long as we continue to win, that’s all that really matters. I’ve got to get my yards per catch up, too. It’s terrible right now.”
Cobb’s season average is 11.4 yards per reception. With his 66-yarder, Nelson raised his to 15.4.
Rookie firsts: Adams’ TD grab, an 11-yard slant on third down, was his first NFL score, and he was already getting critiqued by his teammates.
“He’s got to keep his feet,” Cobb said. “Can’t slip in the end zone like that.”
Meanwhile, fellow rookie receiver Jeff Janis recorded his first two pro receptions late in the game, good for a total of 16 yards.
Injury update: Defensive end Datone Jones left the game with an ankle injury. The Packers reported no other injuries after the game.
COMPLETE GAME COVERAGE