Green Bay Looking To Keep AJ Dillon & Aaron Jones Involved
October 13, 2022
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Green Bay were 3-1 and coming off a tough 27-24 overtime victory over the New England Patriots in Week 4. In that game, running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for 183 yards on the ground to help the Packers grind out the win. Averaging 5.6 yards per carry together, Jones and Dillon’s contributions on offense helped Green Bay win the time of possession battle, 36:49 to 33:11. Most importantly, they ended the game with a win and still tied for first place in the NFC North with the Minnesota Vikings.
Week 5 was a different story. For starters, Green Bay had their three-game winning streak snapped by the New York Giants at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 27-22. The Packers had a 20-10 lead at halftime but only put up a two points in the second half. New York’s defense clamped down, but Green Bay’s offense also went away from what worked so well over the first four games: the Jones and Dillon tandem. The duo had less than half the combined yards but more disappointing is their 19 touches compared to 33 the previous week. It was a loss that also dropped Green Bay into second place in the division.
On the season, the Packers have accumulated 674 yards rushing, with 635 of those yards gained by running backs, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. That’s 94.2% of the offense’s rushing yards so they’re an integral part of Green Bay’s offensive success, even with a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers behind center. The backs are nearly even in carries on the year with Dillon leading with 63 rushes to Jones’ 61. Jones, however, has run more efficiently thus far, gaining an impressive 6.4 yards a run, which is 2 ½ yards more per run than Dillon (3.9). In Dillon’s defense, he’s used primarily in short-yardage situations whereas Jones is utilized for longer runs.
For head coach Matt LaFleur, the backfield combo provides him with new options. They’re one of the best rushing duos in the entire league and need to get at least 30 rushes combined to succeed. In fact, in both games in which they got at least 30 total rushes, the Packers won. Look for LaFleur to increase their touches moving forward as they look to get back on the winning track.
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