RB James Starks - Free Agent
|6-2, 218||Born: 2-25-1986||College: Buffalo||Drafted: Round 6, pick 2010|
2016 Week 1 vs JAX (4 / 7 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
If you were unclear what James Starks would be for this team, this was a clear signal that he gives Eddie Lacy a breather and that's all. Starks had little to do in this game and that will be the case most of the time.
2016 Week 2 vs MIN (7 / 3 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
Starks continues to be nothing but the source of a breather for Eddie Lacy. He gets very little work as more than a blocker and while he was on the field for 30 offensive snaps, that was the role he was in for the majority of them.
2016 Week 3 vs DET (1 / -1 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
James Starks did well holding Eddie Lacy's coat, as he once again had nothing else to do beyond a few runs to give the starter a breather.
2016 Week 5 vs NYG (12 / 33 / 0 rush, 6 / 3 / 19 / 0 rec)
Every time Starks gets a shot to show what he can do we are reminded what that is: not much. Starks got nine carries and looked decidedly average with all of them. Of course, there is something to be said for getting a back into rhythm and the Packers' use of Starks was a bit all over the place. Still, we've seen Starks run the ball and he's got average speed, little elusiveness and not a ton of power. He also had one of the ugliest fumbles we've seen this year on his last touch of the game. On the play, quarterback Aaron Rodgers hit him over the middle with a short pass. Starks was wide open and made the grab, but when he turned to run with the ball, a defender was right there. It's not totally clear why it happened, but Starks essentially threw the ball to the Giants defender. Luckily for Starks, the defender didn't hold on and Starks was able to recover.
2016 Week 10 vs TEN (7 / 33 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 11 / 1 rec)
Starks is still the same guy, a decent runner with little to no top end speed and serviceable vision. The Packers fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter so they abandoned the run game and Starks merely handled receiving duties. Starks did score a nice touchdown on a screen pass, as he ran the ball the extra 13 yards for the score. Even on that play, though, Starks looked plodding and if the Titans had taken better angles he probably would have been caught.
2016 Week 11 vs WAS (9 / 25 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 46 / 1 rec)
Starks didn't look much different than he did last week and his limitations are pretty evident with his lack of overall speed, athleticism and power on display on every carry. He lacks anything like elusiveness as well, too often brought down by a single tackler. He did have a nice catch and run in the fourth quarter when Washington seemed to forget he was on the field. He was wide open in the flat and Aaron Rodgers had no problem dumping a short pass to him. There was nothing but green between him and the end zone as he ran for the score.
2016 Week 12 vs PHI (17 / 41 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 27 / 0 rec)
When will Christine Michael be ready to carry the load, or perhaps when will Eddie Lacy return. Either question is relevant these days as Starks continues to be unimpressive running the ball. On a day when Rodgers was able to throw the ball well, pulling defenders out of the box, Starks still couldn't get anything going. The Packers were relatively committed to the Starks running the ball--with the exception of the second quarter when they called his number just three times the team used Starks consistently during the game. That didn't help him though, as he struggled to find holes, break tackles and make any headway against the Eagles.
2016 Week 13 vs HOU (4 / 1 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Even though Christine Michael was unimpressive as a running back in his Packers debut as a starter, he got nine carries to Starks' four. That's a clear indication that the Packers are not anymore enamored of Starks then they were when they drafted Eddie Lacy and don't trust him as a bellcow back. He looked slow gaining the edge on his first carry and then was stuffed for no gain on his second when all he needed was a yard for a first down. Starks isn't an impressive runner and he did nothing to change that opinion against Houston.
2016 Week 14 vs SEA (2 / 3 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks is well back in the pecking order behind both Christine Michael and Ty Montgomery. Barring an injury, we don't expect to see much of him the rest of the year.
2015 Week 1 vs CHI (2 / 2 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
As is almost always the case, Starks was rarely called upon to do anything save give Eddie Lacy a little break here and there. He is not a factor barring injuries.
2015 Week 2 vs SEA (20 / 95 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 11 / 0 rec)
There's a clear difference in the offense when James Starks is in the backfield as opposed to when Eddie Lacy is there. Starks is a powerful back with OK speed and athleticism, but he lacks the top end skills Lacy has as well as the younger back's burst and overall speed. However, when Lacy left the game on the opening drive due to an ankle injury, Starks stepped in and played well. Starks did fumble the ball once--he had it stripped after a catch along the sideline--but aside from that, he played a very solid game.
2015 Week 3 vs KC (17 / 32 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)
Starks led the team in carries as Eddie Lacy assumed a smaller workload for Monday Night's game. Starks carried the ball 17 times for 32 yards and caught one pass for nineteen yards. His lone reception was a key play on the Packers second touchdown drive, a short pass over the middle that Starks was able to extend for 19 yards and nearly more. Starks was visibly upset after this play as one more missed tackle likely would have netted some more yards or a shot at the end zone. He may continue to see some extra work if Lacy is not fully healed for next week, monitor injury reports as the week moves forward.
2015 Week 4 vs SF (9 / 28 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
With Eddie Lacy back in the lineup, if not quite 100 percent healthy, Starks saw his touches drop down quite a bit. He struggled at times to make too much headway against the Niners defense, especially when on an interior run. While he showed some of his characteristic strength and leg drive, he never seemed to get into a rhythm and that hampered his overall effectiveness. While he is likely to see carries every game, especially with Lacy banged up, unless Lacy goes down, Starks' impact is limited.
2015 Week 5 vs LA (5 / 17 / 0 rush, 6 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)
Starks got his usual amount of snaps--about 25--and had as much trouble breaking free from the defense as Eddie Lacy did. He had a little more success receiving the ball, as that usually got him into space enough to build momentum before he had to deal with the defenders. Overall though, he struggled just like everyone else not named Aaron Rodgers in the run game.
2015 Week 6 vs SD (10 / 112 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 5 / 1 rec)
After coming in to give a struggling and banged up Eddie Lacy a breather, James Starks took over, and to say he excelled is an understatement. Starks averaged over 11 yards a carry, handled most of the short yardage and red zone duties and overall looked very solid against a Chargers defense which had too much trouble shutting down the run. Starks found the end zone twice, once on a shovel pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers which Starks caught in stride, made a defender miss and dove into the end zone with. The ground touchdown happened a short time later, a 65-yard score. On the play, Starks seemed to be running inside, but once he go there the hole was closed. So Starks bounced outside where he could run towards the sideline and away from the few defenders in the area. Then he kicked on the jets and if he's not as fast as Eddie Lacy seems to be, he's fast enough. With a blocking assist from receiver Jeff Janis, Starks took it to the house. That was his biggest play although he almost came down with another touchdown late in the game as he ran a fade route, but was overthrown. Starks extended himself, but ultimately couldn't make the play.
2015 Week 8 vs DEN (5 / 9 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
Starks saw the bulk of his meager workload in the third quarter, but had the same struggles as Eddie Lacy with all the Broncos who were clogged around the line of scrimmage. Interestingly, Starks ran behind a fullback for at least three of his carries, unlike Lacy, who tends to run solo.
2015 Week 9 vs CAR (10 / 39 / 0 rush, 8 / 6 / 83 / 1 rec)
Between Eddie Lacy fumbling in the second quarter and leaving with a groin injury in the third quarter, Starks saw the field a lot. Starks had a bunch of room to run in, as the Panthers throttled back the defense for much of the second half and fell into a coverage mode to try and slow the eventual Aaron Rodgers comeback through the air. That's not to say he didn't run well--as always he shows some decent speed, can both make tacklers miss and bowl them over and catches the ball well. All of those things were present on his 29-yard catch and run touchdown in the fourth quarter. The play found quarterback Aaron Rodgers under pressure and dumping the ball off to a wide open Starks, who had blockers in front of him. After getting a few blocks, Starks found himself shrugging off a tackler at the ten, then diving for the end zone for the score.
2015 Week 10 vs DET (15 / 42 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 54 / 0 rec)
While James Starks got the start in the place of a banged up Eddie Lacy, he didn't look all that much better. For most of the game, he was stymied at or behind the line of scrimmage. The offensive line struggled to open holes for him and unlike when Lacy is healthy, Starks can't easily create his own yards. On top of that, he has to deal with defenses who quite frankly don't respect Aaron Rodgers right now. That means they are more than happy to creep safeties into the box, leave extra linebackers near the line of scrimmage and just generally work hard to make a running back's day brutal. With so much attention to the front line though, Starks was actually more effective on screen passes, where he averaged nine yards a touch. It's where Starks did the most damage, but that was mostly relegated to the first quarter and the last drive when the Lions were busy imploding. Overall, Starks didn't do anything to steal the starting job from Lacy long term, and while he worked hard for the yards he got, when he broke free his lack of game-changing speed and elusiveness were apparent.
2015 Week 11 vs MIN (8 / 14 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 30 / 0 rec)
Starks got the start but he didn't get a workload worthy of the title. Eddie Lacy looked very good as he got the majority of the carries and while Starks began the game with a nice run, he seemed to get slower and more hesitant as the game went on. Starks looks like he will be going back to the backup role unless Lacy gets hurt again.
2015 Week 12 vs CHI (7 / 39 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 41 / 0 rec)
Starks got more touches than he usually does when Eddie Lacy is around and putting up some yards, but a Lacy fumble in the second quarter put Lacy on the bench as head coach Mike McCarthy put the reigns in Starks' hands. Starks is a solid player who shows off some nice speed and good toughness when running and did a fair job as a receiver as well. Starks also saw a bunch of carries late in the fourth quarter as the Packers tried to mount a last-second scoring drive that ultimately came up a bit short.
2015 Week 13 vs DET (9 / 15 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 45 / 0 rec)
Starks got the start because Eddie Lacy missed curfew the night before and was demoted. He kicked things off with back-to-back 6-yard runs and shortly after had a 32-yard catch-and-run which was wiped out by facemask penalty by guard Josh Sitton. Starks would partially replicate it in the third quarter with a nice 25-yard gain off a short pass where he showed some good speed and power in breaking a tackle. Unfortunately, Starks was hampered by a huge deficit by halftime which limited his carries and a banged up offensive line which allowed the Lions to hit him behind the line of scrimmage and killed any gains he might have had. Starks also coughed up the ball on the three yard line in the third. On the carry, he ran off the right guard but when he was tackled, the ball came out and flew into the end zone. Luckily for Starks (and the Packers), Randall Cobb jumped on it in the end zone and scored.
2015 Week 14 vs DAL (11 / 71 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 32 / 1 rec)
Both running backs had a huge day, with Starks averaging 6.5 yards per carry on his way to 100 all-purpose yards. Starks had a fantastic run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, which put the Packers up by two touchdowns. On the play, Starks ran to the right of the center and then picked his way through a pair of blockers battling with defenders. Then he accelerated past two more Cowboys and outran the defense to the end zone. He also scored on a swing pass from the Cowboys 10-yard line. It seemed as if the Packers rotated Starks in regularly to give Lacy a breather but also help wear down the Dallas defense. We may see about the same amount of Starks going forward, but his production could be hit and miss as he likely won't get many more carries.
2015 Week 15 vs OAK (9 / 51 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
After entering the game midway through the second quarter with Eddie Lacy struggling, Starks carried the ball twice (and caught his one pass), he proceeded to lose a fumble on a sweep to the left side of the line. He then was out of the game until the fourth quarter where he struggled against a surprisingly tough Oakland front line until he broke off a 25-yard run in the middle of the fourth quarter. On that run, Starks showed some nice vision to pick out a clear lane, then a good cut back to avoid defenders before turning back upfield and running for extra yards before delivering a finishing hit. It's worth noting that after his earlier fumble, Starks had both hands wrapped around the football on this run.
2015 Week 17 vs MIN (8 / 24 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)
Starks and Eddie Lacy split snaps on offense almost evenly but even if you add the percentage they were on the field together, it only comes out to 67 percent of offensive snaps. That's less than Davante Adams. The Packers abandoned the run early even though it was paying off and trailing by just a field goal. Starks looked OK in his carries, but suffered from the same difficulties Lacy did with regard to the offensive line and that lack of dedication to the run.
2015 Week 19 vs ARI (7 / 23 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 4 / 0 rec)
In what could be his final game as a Packer, unrestricted free agent James Stakes saw a change-of-pace role behind Eddie Lacy, coming in to keep the lead back a breather and occasionally on passing downs (he caught all of his targets Saturday night). He struggled at times against a tough defense, but was able to break loose for a few decent gains.
2014 Week 1 vs SEA (7 / 37 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
After stepping in a few times to give Eddie Lacy a breather, Starks took over completely when Lacy left the game with a concussion in the fourth quarter. Starks seemed to have more success than Lacy, though admittedly the game was pretty much over when he got the bulk of his carries and the Seahawks were much less aggressive. He slipped some tackles and ran well overall, but was less effective in his runs earlier in the game when facing the stouter defense. Many of his runs still seemed slow and plodding--most of the time he got exactly as much as the offensive line got him (or the defense allowed him) and no more. He may get the nod against the New York Jets if Lacy is still out with a concussion.
2014 Week 3 vs DET (8 / 38 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
While Eddie Lacy struggled to run between the tackles, James Starks seemed to have a much better time of it, even when the offensive line was struggling. Despite that (and a fumble by Lacy), the Packers continued give Lacy the rock and let him try to work the outside. When Starks did get to carry the ball, he showed good power in running through trash at the line of scrimmage and hit the holes quickly when they were present. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have enough speed when he gets to the second level to break away from linebackers and was caught by the front seven before he could break a long run several times. He's still the second banana to Lacy, but reminded us on Sunday he could be capable of more if given the chance.
2014 Week 5 vs MIN (12 / 46 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)
A week after the Packers didn't run Starks once against the Chicago Bears, they split the carries between he and Eddie Lacy, though that was in part because Lacy sat out the fourth quarter, which is where he got half of his carries and most of his yards. Starks had some success against a gassed Vikings defensive front though he had less big runs. The offensive line didn't quite break the blocks they had been able to for Lacy and Starks lacks the acceleration and speed Lacy has as well, so getting away from the defense didn't happen often, though he did have a very nice 17-yard run. On the play, a run in the third quarter, Starks took the handoff and headed left towards the "3" hole. The gap filled up quickly but Starks seemed to notice he wouldn't be able to get anywhere by going outside, so he headed through the hole. A Vikings defender tried to tackle him but didn't wrap up, so Starks squirted from his grip, bounced off of his own blocker and broke through the trash for open field. Had he been a bit faster, he might have been able to outrun or avoid safety Harrison Smith but it was a good gain and showed some athleticism in keeping his feet through the line.
2014 Week 6 vs MIA (8 / 31 / 0 rush, 5 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
Starks did nothing through three and a half quarters (four total yards) but was a key figure in the Packers late comeback. With less than seven minutes remaining in the game, Starks had back-to-back impressive carries. On a 2nd-and-3, he took the shotgun handoff heading left and then sharply cut upfield bursting through the hole for a 9-yard gain. The next play, again from the shotgun, Starks waited patiently for a pulling OL to cross the formation and seal the Dolphins LB and then made a pretty cut towards the outside following his blocks to pick up 11 yards and another Packers first down. On the decisive drive late in the 4th quarter, Starks was again the primary back. He was targeted three times in the final two minutes and made two catches, including a key 3rd-and-10 grab with :40 seconds left. Starks caught the ball short over the middle, turned quickly upfield, dove and extended the ball to pickup the first down on a 10-yard gain. While neither Lacy nor Starks were particularly impactful running the ball, Starks again looked more comfortable operating out of the shotgun and was the RB of choice down the stretch as the Packers scored ten late points to win the game.
2014 Week 7 vs CAR (7 / 36 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Starks started off with a nice run around the edge for a 7-yard gain and then followed it up with a nice power run for a first. Starks scored on his third carry, which featured a really nice cut-back when he found the interior clogged. He cut to his left and found a huge swath of green thanks to some nice blocking by the receivers. Starks made it to about the third yard line before defenders caught up to him. Not to be denied, Starks pushed his way through to the score. Overall, Starks ran with authority and power as well as a little speed this weekend and was successful on his carries. He did leave the game in the third quarter and did not come back, although the game was well in hand and many key players were rested late in the match. The injury was a twisted ankle, but there was no further news as of Monday.
2014 Week 8 vs NO (2 / 5 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks had very little overall impact in the game, carrying the ball just a few times while only being targeted once by Aaron Rodgers, who missed him by a wide margin while scrambling under heavy pressure. He was wide open during Matt Flynn's strip-sack in the fourth quarter, but Flynn didn't appear to see him.
2014 Week 10 vs CHI (5 / 10 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks didn't see much work, as the team didn't sub him in much for Eddie Lacy and gave the late-blowout workload to DuJuan Harris. His overall effectiveness was a mixed bag, as he was able to find a hole and get through it for a 6-yard gain in the third quarter, but got tripped up in the backfield when he tried to turn the corner in the second quarter. Overall, he wasn't asked to do much and had a limited impact.
2014 Week 11 vs PHI (8 / 9 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
Starks saw all of his work in the second half when the team was way ahead of the Eagles and the offense was winding down. His carries were a bit of a mixed bag of mostly off-tackle runs some of which exposed him to a multitude of tacklers before he hit the line of scrimmage. Overall though, he ran well, breaking some tackles and showing good speed against an admittedly gassed defense.
2014 Week 12 vs MIN (1 / -4 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
With Eddie Lacy running as well as he was, and the game a tight one, there wasn't much for James Starks to do. He only carried the ball a few times, and fumbled it once as well. On that play he was swarmed by defenders, one of whom stripped the ball. There was some question as to whether his knee hit the ground before he dropped the ball, but the Packers didn't challenge it since Jordy Nelson recovered it.
2014 Week 13 vs NE (1 / 2 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 34 / 0 rec)
Starks saw very little work again Sunday, but did get used a little in the first half as a receiving option out of the backfield. With Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner blanketing Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, the Packers started moving players around, getting them in motion and having backs like Stark come out of the backfield to run routes so they could avoid the cornerbacks and try and produce better matchups. Starks was able to get one such favorable matchup against a linebacker along the sideline where quarterback Aaron Rodgers hit him with a 28 yard pass. Generally, Starks has little to do, but the team used him effectively.
2014 Week 14 vs ATL (10 / 75 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 26 / 0 rec)
A lot of Starks yards came at the end of the game when the Packers were looking to kill the clock. He and Eddie Lacy split the carries almost evenly, but it was Lacy who got the bulk of the carries (all three of them). Lacy might have ground out the clock instead, but he told ESPN a hip bruise kept him from doing that. They will need Lacy to be fully healthy so the Packers might be forced to throttle his carroes back a little. Starks has proven several times that he can play well of they need him to, though not as well as Lacy. Starks also had a short-yardage touchdown. Overall, Starks showed good speed, continuous leg movement and determination and while he doesn't have Lacy's overall skill, he is a solid back in his own right.
2014 Week 15 vs BUF (4 / 19 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Starks didn't get much play as Eddie lacy was healthy and then the Packers ignored the run for most of the second half. He was one of the players who managed to drop a pass he should have caught, but he played well in his minimal number of snaps for the week, showing some burst and speed.
2014 Week 16 vs TB (7 / 3 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 22 / 0 rec)
Starks did not look good in limited work Sunday, getting caught at or behind the line of scrimmage and struggling to break free. He's shown he can run the ball in previous outings, this was just one where he had an off day.
2014 Week 17 vs DET (5 / 26 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks continues to be nothing more than a replacement to give Eddie Lacy a rest, but he does flash some great skill on occasion. For Sunday, that came on the first carry he had early in the first quarter, where he blew through the No. 1 run defense for a 21-yard game. On the play the offensive line did a marvelous job opening up the "4" hole for Starks. He then got into the open field, stiff-armed a defender and rumbled his way for another dozen yards. While he isn't getting much time, it was a reminder that he does have some ability.
2014 Week 19 vs DAL (5 / 16 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks continue to be the guy giving Eddie Lacy a breather and no more, though he continues to show flashes of ability. He had little to do, though he gave Lacy enough of a breather to preserve some of the second year player's energy for some key late runs.
2014 Week 20 vs SEA (5 / 44 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks got the bulk of his work in the fourth quarter, when it appeared as if Lacy's knee was bothering him. He broke off an early 32-yard run to kick off the fourth quarter and did an excellent job of finding the hole, getting through it and then cutting back across the field to find open space. Starks also made two defenders miss, then turned on some speed to get around the cornerback, Richard Sherman. Unfortunately he ran out of real estate and Sherman plus another defender were able to run him out of bounds. The Seahawks got good penetration, but Starks was able to make them miss with their initial attempts to tackle him, though after that huge run he never gained more than five yards.
2013 Week 1 vs SF (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
James Starks only had two plays of note on Sunday, one a dump pass when the Packers were backed into their end zone and the second a run where he took the ball through a huge hole which was the result of a Josh Sitton hold and was called back. Notably, when Eddie Lacy was benched in the second because of a fumble, it was James Starks who got his reps until Lacy returned in the third quarter. While Starks was only on the field for seven snaps total, he's definitely well ahead of rookie Johnathan Franklin.
2013 Week 2 vs WAS (20 / 132 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 36 / 0 rec)
With Eddie Lacy out due to a big helmet-to-helmet hit by Washington safety Brandon Meriweather--himself knocked out when he did the same thing to James Starks--most thought that the carries would be split between Starks and rookie Jonathan Franklin. Instead it was all Starks, all the time as the veteran back became the first Packers running back to rush for 100 yards in almost three years. The offensive line struggled a bit at first--as they did the entire first quarter in both pass blocking and run blocking--and after a few ineffective runs, the Packers went back to the pass and Starks was the target of numerous short throws. The ground game started to get going early in the second quarter though, beginning with a really nice 20 yard run. On the play, Starks liked up as the loan player in the backfield. After receiving the handoff, he took the ball immediately left and accelerated around the edge. A defender tried to close on him, but took a bad angle and Starks kicked in some acceleration as well. The end of the run was the play which featured Meriweather's second helmet-to-helmet hit, with the Washington safety getting the worse end of it. Starks showed great vision on another long run later on in the same quarter. Backed up to their ten, Green Bay went a little conservative to start their drive and handed the ball to Starks, who cut to the right. Starks found his lane blocked and began to head outside, but saw that there was no room there either. Instead, he cut the ball inside where there was a little room and accelerated through the lane, getting to the second level before being dragged down. By the time Starks scored his touchdown in the third quarter, the line was blocking very well and the defense was completely on its heels. On that play, Starks got the ball and immediately blew through the large hole the line provided for him. After that he blew past a couple of defenders, hopped past two more and outraced the last one on his way to a 32 yard touchdown. While Starks played very well, he had the advantage of playing for three quarters behind an offensive line which was on point. That hadn't been the case in the previous five quarters, but should give Packers fans hope that things are looking up.
2013 Week 3 vs CIN (14 / 55 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
While he left in the first half with a knee injury, Starks didn't look quite as sharp on Sunday as he did during the previous game. While he found some holes and did a decent job keeping his legs moving. He was far more effective when the line did a good job opening holes - he isn't going to make something out of nothing very often. When the lanes weren't there, Starks didn't make anything happen on his own. There are times when he can be very indecisive, such as on a first-and-ten with 8:27 left in the second quarter. On the play, the line struggled to clear the gaps - there was one lane open very briefly but either Starks didn't see it or couldn't get to it in time. When the gaps were closed, Starks completely came to a stop. While there wasn't much room to move and the play was very well defended, Starks seemed to freeze when the play went to pieces. Starks appears to be what he's always appeared to be - a good back when you can block for him but nobody who will overcome poor line play.
2013 Week 8 vs MIN (7 / 57 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
James Starks showed some pop against a Vikings defense which didn't seem to know which way was up. As with Eddie Lacy, Starks had several runs where he got hit in the backfield and gained little or no yards. He then bounced back with two 11-yard gains in the third quarter where the Vikings came hard after Rodgers and into the backfield so when Starks hit the hole, he was able to see nothing but green between the line of scrimmage and the secondary. That's pretty much what happened on his 25-yard touchdown. The Vikings brought one of their safeties up towards the line of scrimmage and had eight men crowded around the line of scrimmage, with two corners covering receivers and one lone safety deep. Starks was through the hole quickly and, after making a defender miss, into the open field. He then stiff-armed the safety, turned upfield and was in the end zone before the pursuit could catch him. Starks isn't as fast, strong or reliable as Lacy seems to be, but he is very good when healthy. He and Lacy could be a very viable one-two punch for the Packers on the ground.
2013 Week 9 vs CHI (6 / 40 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
For the most part, James Starks came in to give workhorse back Eddie Lacy a breather. On his very first carry, Starks reminded us that, when healthy, he can be a dangerous back in his own right as well. On the play, a 32-yard touchdown, the offensive line blew open a giant hole in the defensive line and Starks accelerated very quickly through it and to the second level. He then did a very good job following his blockers until he got clear of traffic and headed in for the score. Starks has good, but not great speed--a little more field and Bears corner Charles Tillman might have had him--and shows patience and vision when running. Lacy is a much better back, but Starks can hold his own and makes sure there is no let-up when Lacy needs a break.
2013 Week 10 vs PHI (4 / 5 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
With Eddie Lacy firmly entrenched as the starting running back, James Starks has been reduced to giving him a breather every once in a while. On Sunday, that took the form of one series in the second quarter. Starks had a rough time on that series as the offensive line was not able to open holes most of the day for anyone. The Philadelphia Eagles weren't going to worry about unproven quarterback Scott Tolzien and decided to concentrate on stopping the run. Starks was unable to make a plays out of nothing and was lucky to avoid losing yards. Starks was only on the field on four other snaps.
2013 Week 11 vs NYG (2 / -1 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
James Starks just had two carries as he continues to be the backup to Eddie Lacy and no more. He had as little success as Lacy did against a tough Giants run defense.
2013 Week 12 vs MIN (3 / 37 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / -5 / 0 rec)
Things started off very well for backup running back James Starks as he came in to give starter Eddie Lacy a breather in the third quarter. On his very first carry, Starks broke off a 34-yard run during which he slipped multiple tackles. Part of that was Starks running with strength, but there were also a lot of tackle attempts from bad angles and generally shoddy technique by the Minnesota Vikings defense. After that, Starks saw very few carries and so wasn't able to get into a rhythm.
2013 Week 13 vs DET (2 / 2 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
With Eddie Lacy not even getting a dozen carries, it shouldn't shock anyone that Starks only ended up with two, at the very end of the game. Even with Lacy struggling, Starks couldn't get reps.
2013 Week 14 vs ATL (7 / 19 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
As is normally the case, James Starks came in to give lead back Eddie Lacy a breather, such as when Lacy took some extra time coming out of the locker room. He ran well, but didn't see a consistent amount of carries and never had a chance to get into a rhythm.
2013 Week 15 vs DAL (3 / 12 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 1 rec)
While he has plenty of strength and good speed, two things have held James Starks back. One is the constant injuries, which haven't been a problem in his part time role this year. But the other is a constant lack of vision. One play really stood out as an example of the lack of vision--or perhaps confidence--Starks has. On the play, which took place late in the third quarter, Starks took the handoff on the play, which looks to be designed to go to his left. However, two things make it more complicated. First, the area he is meant to run too is obviously clogged and chances are his gains will be minimal, even if he'll be following his blockers. To his right, the four hole or "B" gap opens up and is completely clear. Either Starks is so intent on following his blockers he doesn't see it, or he's worried about the safety at the 15 yard line because he goes left. He still gains five yards, but he had the opportunity for a bigger gain had he reacted to the open gap to his right. He did show some good strength and determination on his touchdown catch. On the play he took a short dump pass behind the line of scrimmage. He then turns towards the end zone, running without contact until about the 3-yard line. By then he has good speed and when three Cowboys defenders try to tackle him, he muscles his way into the end zone. Overall, Starks is a decent player but as time goes on, it becomes more and more clear how much better the Packers run game is with Eddie Lacy in there instead of Starks.
2013 Week 16 vs PIT (10 / 47 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 23 / 0 rec)
As Cheeseheads across Wisconsin await news on Eddie Lacy's injury, they can rest easy in that James Starks is at least serviceable in his stead. Overall, Starks got a lot of positive yards and hit some nice holes set up by his blockers. He often got to the second level, though was never able to break through enough of the tacklers to break free. Starks is a strong runner with decent speed, but seemed to have a habit of stopping his legs briefly when he was hit. When that brief delay happened, Starks often seemed to stall and lose momentum. That said, he was a serviceable fill in for Lacy, despite lacking the rookie's ceiling and overall playmaking ability.
2013 Week 17 vs CHI (11 / 88 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
With Eddie Lacy banged up, Starks saw frequent carries, though the rookie from Alabama still had almost double the carries. Starks ran like a man possessed though, and looked much better than Lacy did, averaging a stout 8 yards per carry and delivering some punishing hits at the end of his runs. His best run of the day--and the season--was a 41-yard off-tackle run in the third quarter. On that play, Starks did a great job of finding the hole and making himself small as he runs through it. After that there is nobody in front of him for 10 to 15 yards and he accelerates into the open field. When a defender does close, he jukes out of the way and continues on until he is dragged down at the 13 yard line. Starks only saw one more carry after that, as the Packers leaned on Lacy, but Starks is healthy and as Lacy is not, the Packers may need him to carry the load a bit in the playoffs like he did against the Bears.
2013 Week 18 vs SF (5 / 29 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
As has normally been the case since rookie Eddie Lacy arrived, James Starks has been relegated to spot duty and giving Lacy a break. Starks ran well on Sunday, showing good power and speed. He was able to take advantage of a defensive front worn down by the rookie later in the game as well with some solid runs. Overall though, his role was limited.
2012 Week 8 vs JAX (1 / 8 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
Starks had minimal involvement this week. In addition to a successful draw play on the ground and a swing play, he added a horrible drop on a broken play. He looked downfield before securing the catch as it sailed right through his hands. His first action was not until the second half as he remains a seldom-used player in Green Bay's offense.
2012 Week 9 vs ARI (17 / 61 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
As Coach Mike McCarthy had pointed to during the week, James Starks did get a good amount of work, drawing the start and the role of "clock-killer" on Sunday. Averaging 3.6 YPC on his 17 totes, Starks saw his most work since the 2011 season. Although he has never overwhelmed with talent, McCarthy likely turned to Starks because Alex Green had been averaging less than 3 YPC since Cedric Benson went down with a foot injury. With Benson due back in Week 14, fullback and 3rd down specialist John Kuhn likely back after the bye, not to mention Randall Cobb deserving of snaps in the backfield ala Percy Harvin, Green Bay will likely be a murky backfield for the remainder of the season. Although Starks took 17 carries on Sunday, he was only on the field for 23 snaps, which means McCarthy trusts Alex Green in passing situations, limiting the impact that Starks will have.
2012 Week 11 vs DET (25 / 74 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
The Packers seemed determined to have a balanced attack in this game, and James Starks was the guy that they kept handing the ball to. While he never broke a run for more than 11 yards, Starks always seemed to move the pile a bit, and 10 of his 25 carries were for four yards or more. The Packers gave him a lot of different looks, including runs up the gut, pitches to the outside, delays out of the shotgun formation and even off-tackle runs that allowed Starks to bounce to the outside if he saw an opening. Although his longest run came on a delay in the 4th quarter, Starks seemed to wear down as the game wore on. In fact, of the eight carries that he had in the 4th quarter, only one was for more than three yards. Even with the 11 yard run of the day, he finished the 4th with just 16 yards on eight carries. The Packers hope to get Cedric Benson back before the end of the season, but until they do, Starks looks like he's the primary carrier.
2012 Week 12 vs NYG (8 / 35 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
James Starks had a typically underwhelming performance on Sunday night but the entire Packer offense was in a funk for the entire game. Starks shared carries with Green but neither got a lot of touches and Starks had no catches to try and salvage his fantasy performance. The Packers offensive line played woeful in pass protection and gave the Packers no offensive balance to improve the rushing attack. The line was only marginally better on the ground as they rarely succeeded in opening lanes for Starks. Starks' only good chance to catch a pass was dropped and he quickly became irrelevant once the Packers fell far behind on the scoreboard. They quickly began passing almost every down after showing slight commitment to the run game early on. Starks got some garbage rushing yards in the final quarter, long after the game was decided. Starks didn't look very fast or powerful but almost no RB would have succeeded in such a poorly executed offense like the Packers was on Sunday.
2012 Week 13 vs MIN (15 / 66 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
Both running backs were very effective on the ground against the once-vaunted Vikings run defense, with Starks taking just over half of the carries in the backfield and adding a pair of catches as well. Starks looked a lot like the Starks people were high on after the Packers' 2010 Super Bowl run, as he carried the ball with authority, ran hard and kept his legs moving. While Starks isn't going to remind anyone of The Flash, he showed some great speed getting to the edge on his 22 yard touchdown run. On the play, Rodgers pitched the ball to Starks as the back ran to the right side of the line. Starks outran linebacker Erin Henderson, turned the corner and left three Vikings defenders grasping for air. Between Starks and Green, the Packers had a legitimate ground attack and it kept the Vikings from being able to sell out and attack the receivers or Aaron Rodgers. Starks also seems to have improved his pass protection enough for head coach Mike McCarthy to have him in on some third downs as well as on some other passing plays to help supplement the battered offensive line.
2011 Week 1 vs NO (12 / 57 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
James Starks was the more impressive of the two Packers running backs, showing good explosiveness out of his cuts and excellent balance on several runs. A patient runner, Starks showed on more than one occasion how decisive he can be when choosing the seam to run through. His touchdown run was down in large part to the great blocks by his offensive line at the second level; Starks did the rest, lowering his pads and bulling his way into the end zone. His pass protection is not what Ryan Grant's is, but as the more talented back, I expect his opportunities to increase at some point.
2011 Week 2 vs CAR (9 / 85 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)
James Starks, like last week against the Saints, was the more dynamic and explosive player in the backfield for the Packers. Starks found little running room in the first half, but was patient with his cuts and decision making nonetheless. He took what was there and made sure to fall forward into the contact. It was at the start of the second half that Starks began to assert himself physically, following good blocks from his offensive line to eventually break a 40 yard run. Starks exploded out of his cut and sprinted up the field, being caught by a despairing tackle from the safety. What stands out about Starks is his no nonsense, straight ahead style with that little bit of ingenuity to make defenders miss at times you would not expect. In pass protection, Starks did a solid job against a surprisingly good Panthers pass rush.
2011 Week 3 vs CHI (11 / 5 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 9 / 0 rec)
Starks has been the primary ball carries for the last two weeks for the Packers, but he was completely ineffective against the Chicago defense. Starks would frequently get stuffed at the line, or chased out of his running lane, only to be dragged down for little or no gain. While Ryan Grant was effective at the delayed handoff and frequently found holes for big gains, Starks had little or no luck finding anything and frequently was tackled almost as he got the ball. His biggest gain of the day was an eight yard inside run with time winding down in the first half. The Packers were up 17-10 and didn't want to risk throwing the ball, so Starks helped run out the clock. He finished the day with 14 yards on 14 touches, but will probably still continue to split time with Grant for the near future.
2011 Week 4 vs DEN (13 / 63 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 38 / 0 rec)
There are some good things to discuss but it should also be noted on a very crucial 4th and 1 early in the football game Starks ran Off Tackle Right and was stuffed for a loss by Brian Dawkins which put the Denver offense on the field. That was a big play and it could have hurt the Packers when things were still undecided. The rest of the game he was much better and also involved heavily in the short passing game with check downs and screens throughout the game. He was great running out of the shotgun and had a nice 16 yard scamper up the left side in the 1st quarter. In the 4th quarter he had a 28 yard gallop that was set up nicely by his RT who was subbing for the injured Baluga. Starks was not asked to do a lot but Green Bay was throwing it at will so there was no need to dial him up a lot. It was never going to be the James Starks show though. It seemed like the game plan was for green bay to come out throwing especially to open the 2nd half as they went shotgun no huddle and 4 or 5 wide the whole time. Starks did not see a lot of opportunities inside the red zone.
2011 Week 5 vs ATL (12 / 40 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
Starks ran hard in the first half, including a tough 11 yard rumble on the left side that was very reminiscent of his successful postseason in 2010. But in the 2nd half, the Falcons decided to take away the run game (for some reason) and began sending their linebackers at the running backs. The Packers were unable to get anything going on the ground in the 2nd, but keeping the ball in Aaron Rodgers hand isn't a bad way to design a gameplan.
2011 Week 6 vs STL (13 / 49 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
Starks wasn't a whole lot better honestly. On 4th and 1 in the first half, Starks exploded through a massive hole for a 13 yard gain. Taking that easy run away, he also averaged around 3 ypc, and while he does still show more power than Grant, wasn't able to make anything extraordinary happen. What is notable is that neither Starks nor Grant seem to be much of an option in the redzone. It's all Rodgers all the time.
2011 Week 7 vs MIN (13 / 75 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 24 / 0 rec)
Starks finished this game with almost 100 yards from scrimmage, and while he did have the most carries from the Packers in this game, it's important to understand where most of those yards came from. When the Packers got the ball back with 2:30 left in the game, the turned it over to Starks and he put the Vikings away. His first carry was a 15 yard blast up the gut. He had a four yard carry on the next play and then took the third handoff of the quarter and broke toward the outside. He shed one tackle, ran through traffic and plowed up field for a bit 20 yard gain that broke the spirit of the Vikings because they knew that their comeback hopes were gone. He carried the ball two more times for four and 13 yards respectively, racking up 55 yards in garbage time carries.
2011 Week 9 vs SD (13 / 66 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
Starks had a nice run early on up the middle, dragging would-be tacklers a long way before settling for a 20-yard gain. Throughout most of the second and third quarters, he got some courtesy rushes to keep the defense honest. But clearly, the Packers stuck to their typical blueprint of attacking with the passing game. Late in the game, Green Bay was trying to maintain their lead by running out the clock. Starks saw the vast majority of those runs, although he was fairly effective (six carries for 24 yards in the fourth quarter).
2011 Week 10 vs MIN (13 / 63 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)
He just is not able to distance himself much from grant but he also is not allowed to really get a lather going as Rodgers and the passing game seem to be a better option at most times in the football games. His best run of the night might have been the 3rd and long deep inside Packers territory where he found a nice hole and excellerated on through there to pick up a big first down and prevent the packers form having to punt inside of their own end zone. On that run he could have been stopped short but he managed to run over the Safety for the final 2-3 yards and gain a 1st down.
2011 Week 11 vs TB (11 / 38 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 53 / 0 rec)
Had a pretty horrific game ended with a knee and ankle injury that could keep him out on Thanksgiving. It's hard to judge the Packers' RBs since they rarely get a lather going early in the football game but he combined for 6 carries with Grant vs 18 pass attempts by Rodgers in the 1st half. He made a nice catch and run for 12 yards to get green Bay moving in the 4th quarter after the offense went pretty dormant in the 3rd quarter. He caught a lot of passes and helped his owners out by being wide open and taking shirt dumps and turning them into 1st downs for the Packers. I think owners wish he would get some of the red zone or goal line work instead of plunges by Kuhn and Raji.
2011 Week 12 vs DET (4 / 19 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks game into the game banged up, and aggravated his ankle injury early in the third quarter. He finished the first half as the Green Bay leading rusher with just 19 yards on the ground, mostly from a 12 yard run up the gut in the second quarter. He was stuffed on his only carry in the third quarter and wasn't involved in the game after that.
2011 Week 13 vs NYG (3 / 5 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks aggravated his ankle injury early and was a non-factor, missing the rest of the game.
2011 Week 16 vs CHI (6 / 13 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Starks had minimal involvement in this game, splitting touches with Ryan Grant for the few running plays that Green Bay actually called. He was much less effect than Grant was though, and finished with just 13 yards on five carries. His longest play was just a six yard check down in the second quarter.
2011 Week 19 vs NYG (6 / 43 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 24 / 0 rec)
James Starks proved to be more reliable and productive than teammate RB Ryan Grant, at least in this game. Starks was more explosive and found the hole in the defense quicker and has more athletic ability to take advantage of the gaps that presented themselves. Starks never was able to break the big run but provided the Packers with a little spark and converted a few situations into first downs, especially late in the game. Starks role increased as the game went on and he picked up a nice first down as he used his blocks well and ran to the outside before turning upfield and ripping off a big gain on the ground. Starks hauled in a short screen pass later in the game and used his elusiveness to evade some defenders and pick up the first down. He did have a crucial drop however on a pass from QB Rodgers that would have certainly given the Packers a first down. Starks looked quick and impressive at times with the ball in his hand but GB were forced to pass most of the time and he never got a good shot to build some momentum running the football with consistency. He was a liability in pass protection however and gave up a sack to a blitzing Michael Boley.
2010 Week 13 vs SF (18 / 73 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Here is what you need to know. The Packers went to Starks on the 1st play of several drives. The Packers did not however give Starks a lot of carries until the game was well in hand. Starks was used a lot on their final drive with almost half of his touches coming on that last drive to close out the game. Starks looked alright but he definitely needs some game reps. Early on in the game he had a couple of 2nd and short runs and he managed to get a 1st down on one of those. On a Packers drive in the mid 2nd he was given two carries in a row starting on 1st down and he did pick up the 1st down. He showed some decent vision as well. On the next drive they went to Starks on back to back carries again and he put them into a 3rd and 1 situation and they opted for John Kuhn to pick up the 1st down. This is going to be a 3 headed back field it would appear with each one of them having a role.
2010 Week 14 vs DET (6 / 8 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks shared the load with Brandon Jackson as the Packers had a dismal day on the ground. Starks didn't do anything him to distinguish himself as the lead back, as Jackson got more carries and more production. But Jackson didn't exactly impress either. Expect the time-share to continue.
2010 Week 17 vs CHI (5 / 20 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)
James Starks was rotated in quite a bit for Jackson and looked fairly sturdy and powerful on the carries he got. None went for big gains and most were just "token" runs to keep the Bears defense honest, but Starks could be a factor in Green Bay next season if he gets a full offseason under his belt.
2010 Week 18 vs PHI (23 / 123 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
The unlikely hero for the Packers was James Starks. Perhaps they were saving him for the playoffs, but he unloaded on the Eagles defense. He has a very similar style and build to Ryan Grant and his fresh legs allowed him to carve up the Eagles with 5 yards per carry and a first round victory. Starks just seems to glide when he runs the ball, not utilizing a lot of moves or showing elite speed, but going north and south and getting positive yardage on every play. The Packers may have found themselves a RB for the remainder of the playoffs and possibly beyond, dependent on the front office.
2010 Week 19 vs ATL (25 / 66 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks had hardly any running room in this game. The one good thing the Falcons did was take away the open lanes for the Packer RB's. However, it is clear that the Packers are going to ride Starks as their primary RB for these playoffs, as he carried it 25 times. One benefit to this is that Starks has the freshest legs of any RB in the playoffs. At the start of the 2nd half, Starks did find a few openings, as he ripped off a run of 13 yards, followed by a run of 9 yards on the way to a touchdown that basically put the game out of reach. It seems like Starks always gets positive yardage, even if the holes aren't there, and he's doing an incredible job of stabilizing what had been a big weakness of the Packers, by providing them with a solid presence in the backfield in the playoffs.
2010 Week 20 vs CHI (22 / 74 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Starks was ineffective in his newfound feature back role. He did rip off some nice runs while the offense was humming in the first half, and he capped one of the two scoring drives with an easy four-yard TD, but he had only one run over two yards in the second half when the Packers were trying to shorten the game to get out of Soldier Field with a win. After a rousing start to the postseason, Starks momentum as the new Packers lead back is diminishing.
2010 Week 21 vs PIT (11 / 52 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Starks didn't touch the ball that much, but he did have nice runs on the Packers first two touchdown drives, and he also got the Packers into field goal range in the fourth quarter. His four-plus yard per carry average was outstanding against the all-time best Steelers run defense.