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Green Bay Packers: After 2 Straight 100+ Yard Games, It’s Time to Admit the Truth about Aaron Jones.

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones

The Green Bay Packers‘ offense, despite missing two of its best wide receivers and their starting tight end, looked as good as it has all season in their 33-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night. While Christian Watson, Dontayvion Wicks, and Luke Musgrave were held out due to their various injuries, Jordan Love threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns with Bo Melton and Jayden Reed as his primary receivers, and Reed was only available for the first half after reinjuring his chest.

Even when Reed went down, the offense continued to click. As he has all season, Love spread the ball around instead of forcing it to a single pass catcher. Of course, in order for the passing game to be effective, the run game had to also be on point, and for the second consecutive game it was.

The win over the Vikings also marked the second game in a row in which running back aron JsoneA received 20+ carries and put up 120+ rushing yards. The Packers’ third all-time leading rusher has missed or been limited for most of the season with various leg injuries. However, he has proven (once again) that he is one of the most important factors in making the offense run as efficiently as possible.

However, there are many who believe that this season will be Jones’ last in Green Bay. He will be 30 years old next season and will be in the last year of his contract. The general assumption is that the Packers will cut him and look to the 2024 NFL Draft for a new crop of running backs. Given the production Jones has put up over the last two games, though, that may not be the best decision.

The Green Bay Packers Should Keep Aaron Jones in 2024

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones
EzoicNext season, Jones is set to have a $17.7 million cap hit in the final year of his contract. Since he has a dead cap hit of $12.3 million, the Packers could save over $5 million by releasing him. This, in addition to his age and injuries this season, are the reasons why some believe the Packers will look to move on from him.

While these factors are certainly valid and understandable, replacing Aaron Jones is not as simple as it may appear. Just look at the plethora of running backs the Packers have used when he was out/limited: AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor, Emanuel Wilson, James Robinson, and Kenyon Drake. If replacing Jones were easy, any one of them would have stuck as the primary back.

Green Bay Packers Aaron Jones

One of the reasons why none of those aforementioned backs could fully replace is Jones is because of the inadequacy of the offensive line when it comes to run blocking. According to PFF, Green Bay’s run defense ranks 25th in the NFL with a 54.6 run blocking grade. The only teams with worse run blocking grades are the Arizona Cardinals (4-12), Carolina Panthers (2-14), New York Jets (6-10), Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (8-8), Jacksonville Jaguars (9-7), Los Angeles Chargers (5-11), and New York Giants (5-11).

For his part, Jones has a 78.2 run grade on PFF. In other words, Jones is able to be an efficient runner because of his own skills in eluding defenders, not because the offensive line is opening up big lanes for him.







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