For more than a decade, a guy in the Green Bay Packers backfield has been discussed as a regular candidate for NFL MVP.
But this year, it hasn’t been Aaron Rodgers, but running back Aaron Jones.
The offensive scheme Matt LaFleur brought to Green Bay is one that heavily features the running back. When LaFleur was with the Los Angeles Rams (Todd Gurley as feature back) and Tennessee Titans (Derrick Henry), those teams finished in the top eight in rushing yards.
The LaFleur scheme meant Jones would have a lot of responsibility, and opportunity.
Jones has bought in to LaFleur’s scheme, and his investment has paid dividends, both for himself and the Packers in one of the biggest years of productivity for a running back in modern Packers history.
Individually, Jones ran for more than 1,084 yards and rambled for 1,558 combined rushing and receiving yards, 9th most in the NFL this year.
More than anything, Jones’ biggest individual output came on the scoreboard.
He tied for the NFL lead in rushing touchdowns with 16 and total touchdowns with 19, just one behind the Packers’ team record by Ahman Green set in 2003.
Jones scored 114 points, averaging more than a touchdown a game.
Aaron Jones helping out his @NFLFantasy owners with another score! @Showtyme_33 #GoPackGo #CHIvsGB— NFL (@NFL) December 15, 2019
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He put up four rushing touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys back in October, tying a team record.
And he grabbed three touchdowns against Kansas City – including two through the air.
His presence was so valuable that the Packers trusted him with the football 285 times this year, 10th most in the NFL.
He’s paid that trust back in gaining 28.2 percent of the Packers’ offensive yardage.
And in games where he gained at least 60 yards, the Packers have always won – 9-0.
Most assuredly, the Packers will need at least that output, if not much more, from Jones for Green Bay to chalk up playoff wins.
If the Packers are to get where they want to go this postseason, they won’t just need their star quarterback named Aaron.
They’ll need their star running back named Aaron.