(Reuters) - Eddie Lacy restored Green Bay’s running game and busted out of his personal slump as he ran the Packers to a 42-10 rout over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.
Lacy rushed for 105 yards and two scores while quarterback Aaron Rodgers added three touchdown passes as Green Bay scored the game’s first 42 points.
The Packers (3-2) offense had started slow in their 1-2 open to the season, but Rodgers and his team mates put fans’ concerns to rest in a 38-17 victory against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Still, Green Bay’s running game had yet to function effectively and Lacy had not reached 50 yards rushing in a game before Thursday’s clash against the Vikings.
“We know what Eddie can do, we never lost faith,” Packers receiver Randall Cobb told reporters after catching his league-leading sixth touchdown reception.
“We’re going to be in his corner the whole way, and when he gets opportunities he’s going to make it happen.”
With steady rain falling at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, Rodgers kicked off the fireworks in the first quarter with a scoring throw to Randall Cobb and a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson.
Linebacker Julius Peppers then returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter before Rodgers added a third touchdown toss to Davante Adams for an 11-yard score.
Lacy took over in the third, putting the game away with two scoring runs before Green Bay’s starters rested in the fourth.
Minnesota sputtered behind third-string quarterback Christian Ponder, who was forced into action when rookie Teddy Bridgewater was ruled out due to an ankle injury at the end of a stellar debut against the Atlanta Falcons.
Ponder completed just 22 of 44 passes, threw two interceptions and was sacked six times.
Minnesota has faced their share of adversity thus far. They are already without opening season starter Matt Cassel, who broke his left foot, while Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson was banished to the NFL exempt list until a child abuse case is resolved.
“We have to want it more than our opponent does,” Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said.
“Bottom line, I didn’t feel like we wanted it more than our opponent tonight. Guys had their heads down, and that is not stuff you want to see on the sidelines.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury/Patrick Johnston