Starter Pack: Gauging the running game

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

Two weeks into the season is not the time to start putting much stock in the NFL stat sheet, but some there are some noteworthy numbers early on.

The Packers lead the league in yards per game and rank second in points.

But here’s something perhaps even more remarkable: They rank sixth in rushing average at 4.7 yards per carry. Much of that is due to their performance against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, when they rushed for 139 yards on 24 carries, and in the process James Starks snapped the Packers’ streak of 44 games without a 100-yard rusher.

Is it too early to proclaim that the Packers have their running game in working order?

It probably is, but as Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette pointed out “… that could start changing if the Packers run the ball credibly this week against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 1-1 Bengals have had a top-10 defense the past two years and one of the best defensive lines among teams that run a 4-3 scheme.”

The Bengals have the seventh-best run defense through the first two weeks of the season.