Running backs coach Jerry Fontenot said he would split the carries between his two running backs.
At first that didn't even look possible. With Rodgers completing 14 of his first 15 passes, the Packers had to go with the hot hand.
But by the half, the James Starks had five carries, 30 yards and one big touchdown; Ryan Grant had five carries, 26 yards.
"James did well, probably didn't have the attempts that he deserved," said McCarthy.
In the end, even with the clear aerial attack, the Packers managed 102 rushing yards by the backs: 57 for Starks, 40 for Grant and 5 for John Kuhn.
"It's a true test to how well the line is blocking," said Starks. "Plus the receivers, tight ends - it was a total team effort."
As our scout Rick Tittlser observed at Packer training camp, Starks is the superior RB at this point. He made several nice cuts and broke a few tackles, and has more burst than Grant. If he continues to produce at a higher level, and we believe he will, then the Packers will give him more work. McCarthy said as much in his post-game interview.