Lacy’s chances at Lambeau grounded
Green Bay — The Seahawks’ team buses were nearly full and ready to depart from Lambeau Field on Sunday about 7:45 p.m. following Seattle’s 17-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
A group of fans waited patiently along the fence, chanting “Eddie, Eddie” and offering the former Packers running back everything from a cold beer to a Kroll’s cheeseburger until the buses rumbled out of the stadium.
Lacy played four seasons in Green Bay, endearing himself to fans with a hard-charging running style before weight and conditioning issues and injuries limited his productivity.
He was not re-signed by Green Bay following the 2016 season after gaining 360 yards in 71 attempts (5.1 avg.) and no touchdowns. Lacy signed with Seattle, a fresh start for the 27year-old running back with a team trying to upgrade its running game.
“You can look at it a bunch of different ways,” Lacy said earlier in the visitor’s locker room. “Ultimately, the business factor factored a lot into it. There’s no hard feelings between me and the coaching staff over there, all the players or anything like that. The chips fell the way they fell and you know, that’s what it is.”
Lacy’s return to Green Bay did not go as he envisioned following a Seahawks loss and a very forgettable individual performance in front of 78,381 fans in an early season NFC showdown of teams with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
The Green Bay defense limited Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to just three field goals and 225 net yards, including 90 rushing.
Lacy was held to just three yards in five attempts (0.6 avg.), with a long of six yards. “We came in and had a game plan, and the only thing I can do is when I got the opportunity make the most of it,” Lacy said.
Lacy was not afforded much running room, and the tone was set on his first carry on Seattle’s second possession of the game.
On first down at the 50-yard line, Lacy bounced outside to the left side but was cut down by cornerbacks Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins for a two-yard gain. On the ensuing play, he burst up the middle and spun through a tackle for six yards — his lone highlight.
Seattle tried to get Lacy on track on its next series, but he was taken down for a two-yard loss by linebacker Jake Ryan as he again tested the left flank of the Packers defense. His final carry of the half was off left tackle and he was stonewalled for no again by linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Jake Ryan.
Lacy’s first half numbers were four carries for 6 yards (1.5 avg.) as Seattle took a precarious 3-0 lead into halftime. On his final rush in the third quarter, Lacy ran right and was blasted for a three-yard loss by defensive tackle Mike Daniels, a dominant force who had five total tackles, 11⁄ sacks, and four 2 hits on Wilson.
Lacy could only watch as Rodgers and the Packers offense ran out the final 6:17 of the game with a 17-9 cushion.
“Nothing was easy, especially when you have No. 12 at quar- terback on the other side,” Lacy said. “Being on the right side (visitor’s), it’s kind of weird watching him play, you know. But it’s football and we know what we have to do: put this game behind us, learn from it, and move forward.”
Lacy embraced and talked to many former teammates after the final gun, and after hugging safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, he slowly walked through the tunnel to the visitor’s locker room.
“You never know how things will go,” Lacy told reporters. “But we have a long season and a long while to get things on track and we just have to take everything one day at a time. (Was it) emotional? Yeah, because we lost.”
One locker away was rookie running back Chris Carson, who started the game and had six carries for 39 yards with one carry accounting for 30 yards. Wilson was the team’s leading rusher with two scrambles up the middle for 11 and 29 yards.
“Green Bay has a great defense, but we have to execute better,” Carson said. “Eddie — he was talking about coming back to Green Bay and this game all week. It’s a rivalry game and we talked about being the attacker and not the one attacked.
“The Packers did a great job with their game plan. We made some mental mistakes. We had a few red-zone opportunities where we should have punched it in.”
Head coach Mike McCarthy had high praise for his defense.
“This (victory) really started with our defense,” he said. “You hold an offense to nine points in today’s NFL that speaks volumes. They were playing at a high level coming out of the preseason. It started at the line of scrimmage. We were in their backfield a bunch. We had the big plays.”
Packers safety Morgan Burnett said he only wished Lacy the best going forward.
“He was a good teammate and I’m proud of him for his hard work,” Burnett said.
Packers defenders Blake Martinez (50), Kentrell Brice (29) and Mike Daniels swarm Seattle running back Eddie Lacy on Sunday. Lacy, a former Packer, wasn’t a factor during his return to Lambeau Field.