Former Stanford product Ty Montgomery ran for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Green Bay Packers win over the Chicago Bears, all while listed as a receiver. So how did the Cardinal receiver end up in the backfield and why could his production be the difference in the playoff push for Green Bay?
After starting running back Eddie Lacy went down, the Packers offense has struggled and been lopsided, relying heavily on the passing attack. They fell to the bottom half in the league rushing the ball, hovering around the 16th spot in the league most of the season.
While the Packers tried to integrate Ty into the ground game, they where never dedicated until last week. Montgomery came in and ran all over the Bears on a career high 16 carries and helped the Packers jump two spots in total rushing in a single week and gave the team that had seven rushing touchdowns on the year two more in the game.
Not only was this huge for the game, but going forward if the Packers can rely on the Cardinal stud to keep running they will have a balanced offense to break into the playoffs. When the games are cold and the conditions poor, a solid running attack in the playoffs is invaluable.
The difference the running attack was evident immediately as on the final drive Montgomery ran for a first down, forcing the defense to play up on the line of scrimmage. The lack of safety help got Jordy Nelson free for 60 yards to get them in position for the winning field goal. Ty Montgomery finding a new home in the backfield and rumbling for big yardage could be the difference for the Packers’ offense. You can thank Stanford for the help Green Bay.
Special athletes are asked to make position switches to help the team when players go down or fail to produce. Some switches are more difficult, like an outside linebacker asked to play nickel back for a game, but going from wide receiver to running back is one of the most difficult because of how vastly different the positions are. Outside there is less contact and more emphasis on reaction time, route running and hand eye coordination. But at running back, players run into the teeth of some of the biggest collisions in any sport man plays. From game prep, to body type, the two positions are night and day. The switch from outside to inside is ridiculously challenging at the pro level, which is why Montgomery’s success is so fascinating.
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