GREEN BAY, Wis. - Early in the season, the Packers struggled to run the football. But over the final eight weeks of the regular season, the team topped the 100 yard rushing mark six times. Since Week Nine, the team has the 12th most rushing yards in the league.
In its Week One loss to San Francisco, the Packers' leading rusher was Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay gained a total of just 45 yards on the ground. That's an area the team almost definitely needs to improve on in order to beat the 49'ers this time around.
"When you run it, you want to run it good and we need to run it better this time, there is no doubt about that. We did not run the ball very well in Week One," Packers Coach Mike McCarthy said.
"We looked at that film to get some references from there," offensive lineman T.J. Lang said. "We've just got to play better than we did in Week One. We've got to play more sound, more fundamental football. We've shown that the last couple of weeks to be able to be sitting where we are now."
Green Bay will have two different starters on its offensive line from that Week One match-up, and may just be hitting its stride right now.
"We're pretty cohesive, we've had a different line for much of the season kind of jumbled around but we're playing pretty well," offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse said.
Just like the offensive line has seen its changes, so too has the running back position. The Packers have had five different starters this season. The most recent starter is DuJuan Harris, who was signed off the team's practice squad at the start of December.
"I'm still trying to get comfortable with it, I'm getting there, I'm progressing, still a long way to go," Harris said. "Since I've been here I've just tried to help out this team and help the team win, even when I was on the practice squad I was trying to give them a good look, mindset don't change."
James Starks, who missed the last five games with a knee injury, was a full participant at practice Wednesday. Whether or not he'll be in the mix for some carries on Saturday is unclear.