Thus far after four games, Green Bay's pathetic rushing attack isn't much better than last season when it ranked dead last in the league. At the time, the Packers had 217 yards on 79 attempts for an average carry of 2.7 yards. This year, the Packers aren't much better with 364 yards on 96 carries, or 3.8 yards per carry. That does represent progress, but at that pace the Packers will get nowhere fast this season. Kind of like watching Ryan Grant on third-and-one these days.
Speaking of Grant, he came out of nowhere last year and lit up the league down the stretch. He still is the same guy with the same blue collar, no-quit attitude, but his off-season contract holdout and subsequent hamstring injury early in training camp have contributed to his crummy start. Analysts and even coach Mike McCarthy also have pointed out more than a few times that he is not in sync with the rest of the line. While he appeared more confident running the ball on Sunday, it was a factor in the first couple of games this season because of his hamstring.
Fortunately for Grant and the rest of the offense, it's a long season. The Packers have time to iron out the kinks in the running game, like they did last year when Grant nearly topped 1,000 yards rushing in the final 10 games of the regular season.
The offensive line welcomed the return of center Scott Wells on Sunday, which is a plus. The line and Grant simply have to get better with their timing and ability to move the ball on the ground in order for the rest of the offense to improve. If Aaron Rodgers misses a game because of a shoulder injury, it will be that much more important for the running game to emerge.
Thus far it hasn't and Sunday's average of 1.6 yards per carry for the whole unit was awful. And against a team that was giving up 121.3 yards a game after the first three weeks. Brandon Jackson doesn't seem reliable enough with the football to warrant more carries and rookie Kregg Lumpkin is nursing a hamstring injury.
Is there hope for the Packers running game? Yeah, well, maybe. The Packers turned it around on the ground last year, so they'll do it again, right?
Todd Korth writes for PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.