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Packers' Eddie Lacy wins Offensive Rookie of the Year

NEW YORK -- Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy nudged out San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen for the 2013 Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award at Saturday's "NFL Honors" ceremony.

It was the correct call.

Whereas Allen finished 22nd in receiving yards and 13th in receiving touchdowns, Lacy placed eighth in rushing yards and third in rushing scores. From Week 5 on, LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles were the only running backs to average more than Lacy's 86.7 yards per game.

Philip Rivers and Ryan Mathews did the heavy lifting for the Chargers. Lacy carried Green Bay's offense for a crucial seven-game stretch when Aaron Rodgers was sidelined, emerging as the Packers' most valuable player.

More impressively, Lacy saved the season while toughing out an ankle injury and facing stacked boxes without Rodgers' rifle arm to keep defenses honest.

A throwback to the days of bruising, three-down bell cows, Lacy consistently got more than what was blocked. He finished near the top of the list in yards after contact and forced missed tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.

This award is a fitting tribute to a player who not only broke John Brockington's long-standing franchise record for rookie rushing yards, but also turned a weakness into a strength for the Packers.

With Lacy checking chins in the backfield, coach Mike McCarthy has good reason to believe his offense can be special in 2014.

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