Aaron Jones Needs to Be More of a Focal Point of the Green Bay Packers Offense

The Green Bay Packers offense has been inconsistent this season and has struggled to put up enough points to win football games. There are many reasons for this from inexperienced receivers and injuries to the offensive line, receivers and Aaron Rodgers’ broken thumb.

But one constant on the team has been running back Aaron Jones. The UTEP alum has been the best weapon on the offense all season. If the Packers want to have success in their final six games, they need to make sure Jones is a major focal point of the offense.

Jones is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. He has the speed and elusiveness to break tackles and outrun defenders. He often breaks off runs of 10 yards or more and helps keep the Green Bay offense on schedule by keeping them out of second and third and long situations.

For the season, Jones has gained 778 yards on 143 carries. That gives him an impressive 5.4-yard per carry average. He also has 40 catches 248 yards on 49 targets which gives him an impressive 81.6 catch percentage. That puts Jones on pace for 1,202 yards rushing and 62 catches for 383 yards receiving. The rushing yards and catches would both be career highs.

The numbers don’t lie. Jones has been effective almost all season and when he’s at his most effective, so is the offense.

This season, the Jones has four games where he has run for 100 or more yards. The Packers are 3-1 in those games. They are 1-6 in games when he doesn’t top 100 yards in a game.

More importantly, when the Packers give Jones the ball, the offense is more effective. The Packers are 3-1 when Jones has 15-or-more carries in a game. When he has fewer than 10 rushing attempts, the Pack is 0-4.

Getting Jones more touches on offense makes sense whether it’s on the ground or via the passing attack. One problem with getting Jones more catches is that the Rodgers has had accuracy issues throwing the ball into the flat. Too often, his attempts at short passes near the sidelines have fluttered off course and that was even before he injured his thumb in London against the New York Giants.

Rodgers admitted the Packers need to get Jones the ball more for the offense to be successful. Last month on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers said, “Get him the ball more,” Rodgers said when asked about Jones. “Every time that there is an L, any type of adversity, there is always going to be narratives that come out of it. Easy one for us is we’ve got to get the ball to 33 more. I mean, it’s true. When he touches the ball, good things happen. He breaks tackles, he’s probably our most elusive guy with the football in his hands.”

Head coach Matt LaFleur has also admitted throughout the season that he needs to get the ball to Jones more often. A good example came after the Packers Week 1 loss in Minnesota when Jones barely saw the ball. After the game, LaFleur admitted, “Any time Aaron Jones comes out of a game with eight touches, that’s not good enough.”

Despite the quotes, LaFleur, who calls the plays, and Rodgers, who often changes plays at the line of scrimmage, often go away from getting the ball in Jones’ hands whether via a handoff or a pass for long stretches of games. In fact, thus far, Jones has had more than three catches in a game just three times.

The Packers are unlikely to make the playoffs this season. They will need to go 5-1 or 6-0 in their remaining games to have any realistic chance of reaching the postseason. But that doesn’t mean the team can’t spent the final six games of the season figuring out how to make this offense work well. That will mean giving young receivers like Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs more playing time (once Doubs is healthy enough to play) and finding what plays and formations help maximize the talent available on the roster.

One thing is certain though. Through 11 games, Jones has been the most consistent and dangerous weapon the Packers offense has and he needs to be one of the centerpieces of the attack for the rest of this season.

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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Comments (32)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2022 at 11:23 am

I agree that he’s our best player. At this point though, I am at the point where youth and potential need to be the focus.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2022 at 12:35 pm

What youth? They essentially are a two back team and A.Jones is not a bell cow type guy. Another area of concern by not stocking RBs. Similar to the WR conundrum. Now they will most likely go to the Wolf model of
volume drafting RBs next Spring and hope one sticks.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2022 at 12:44 pm

I was not limiting it to RBs, but making a more general point about what is important at this stage.

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Oppy's picture

November 24, 2022 at 04:59 pm

They did stock RBs. They had Patrick Taylor and Kylin Hill.
Both of which have looked very promising with their limited time.

I understood the Packers parting ways with Hill (based on the remarks of MLF), but now the Taylor release has me baffled.

Are they clearing room for someone to be activated? I'm confused.

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Oppy's picture

November 25, 2022 at 01:05 pm

3 down votes, I hope someone can grow a set of balls and explain what you exactly take issue with.

It is a fact the Packers had Hill and Taylor on their roster. It is a fact they released Hill a few weeks ago because he was apparently unhappy with not getting play time. It is a fact they just released Taylor without comment the day before Thanksgiving.

What's the problem? I'm sorry the facts don't align with the gripe about not stockpiling RB's. Maybe instead of downvotes, you should take it up with reality.

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Packerpasty's picture

November 24, 2022 at 12:12 pm

someone tell the coaching staff...they don't know how to use him...watching the Lions, laugh if you want but that guy is a much better head coach than MLF...he's getting the team to play hard and with confidence more and more....

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Oppy's picture

November 24, 2022 at 12:21 pm

When you run more RPOs than any other offense in the league, it's not the coach who deciding not to run the ball

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dje's picture

November 24, 2022 at 02:50 pm

It is a coach, it is coach rogers!

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fangirl's picture

November 24, 2022 at 09:05 pm

Lions were superb against the Bills today.

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murf7777's picture

November 25, 2022 at 07:34 am

Lions being superb in a loss? Not really, they lost like they have over the past couple of decades or more…..looking good while losing a game.

If you want to be superb, one, you need to win and two, you need to hold the opponent to below 28 points. Their defense is a sieve.

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Oppy's picture

November 24, 2022 at 12:22 pm

I don't often take shots at the articles and authors, but this article is 8 weeks late and stating the obvious.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2022 at 12:36 pm

In that case, Jones should have been moved at the trade deadline.

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Coldworld's picture

November 24, 2022 at 12:46 pm

And admit Murphy sold the farm for nothing? There’s no way Murphy would have countenanced that.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 24, 2022 at 01:10 pm

Yes, why be proactive? He can blame the other members for his errors and omissions.

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Oppy's picture

November 24, 2022 at 03:15 pm

Or, I don't know, bench the QB?

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LLCHESTY's picture

November 24, 2022 at 03:26 pm

You think they could find a team that wants to pay him $16 million next year?

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Oppy's picture

November 24, 2022 at 05:03 pm

They probably could find a team to agree to take on his contract with an extension and renegotiation to give Jones a lengthy commitment at a cap-friendly number, and he'd probably still get paid like a top 3-5 RB.

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PhantomII's picture

November 24, 2022 at 01:55 pm

It's obvious AJ needs to be used more...so why isn't he? Really, Really poor game planning by very poor Coaches.
Here's my Christmas List:
1. New HC who knows how to develop and execute a game plan that does not need to call the game, and can
adjust the game plan with a positive net affect on the outcome of the game.
2. New OC who can assist in developing a gameplay and execute it effectively.
3. New OL Coach who operates the most effective roster available.
4. New WR Coach who gets the younger players up to speed and helps develop a passing game they can handle.
5. New TE Coach who can do anything with what we have. Draft a legit TE in the 1-2 Round like (Andrews).
6. Allow ST Coach to use any player on the 53 he needs. Draft a legit return threat. Draft a punter that does not
multiple steps before he punts. Draft a replacement for Crosby who can kick off out of the back of the end
zone by 10 yards.
7. New DC who develops a game plan that uses his players skillset to their advantage, positions DB's properly
for down and distance. Draft Elite edge rusher. Draft FS with Elite tackling, ball awareness, hands and speed.

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bjkdad44's picture

November 24, 2022 at 06:47 pm

Is that all???

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PhantomII's picture

November 24, 2022 at 07:36 pm

It's a good start...LOL.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 24, 2022 at 02:12 pm

Everybody knows you want the ball 🏈 in the hands of your best players, especially in the clutch. Those hands don’t belong to our QB anymore.

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ricky's picture

November 24, 2022 at 03:08 pm

The one quote that Mike McCarthy used that always caused me to gnash my teeth: "We're going to address that." But instead of addressing the issue, it would be sent to the dead letter center. Same thing with Jones. Both LaFleur and Rodgers agree, Aaron Jones should get more touches. Then he doesn't. Ultimately, I have to put this one on LaFleur. If Rodgers is changing the play at the LOS when a run is called on a regular basis, he has to be reminded he is the employee. Not the owner. Not the OC. Nor the HC. He is the QB, and needs to lean on the running game more. When they have, they've won. When they haven't, they've lost. Will Rodgers follow the game plan set forth by LaFleur? Apparently not. So, if necessary, he needs to be benched to "let his thumb get some rest". Try it for a game. See what happens. Then decide what to do.

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Oppy's picture

November 24, 2022 at 03:21 pm

"Both LaFleur and Rodgers agree, Aaron Jones should get more touches. "

For the love of all that is holy, please understand this one thing I've been pointing out for 8 years now:

The coaches talk about running the ball more. Aaron Rodgers talks about getting the RB "more touches" or getting the RBs "more involved in the gameplan."

There is a very deliberate use of language here from the great deceiver #12. "more touches" can mean passes to the RB.
"more involved in the gameplan" can mean in the pass game, or keeping them in on pass protection.

We have always had a problem with rushing attempts, and both MM and MLF have talked about it till they're blue in the face. In the last 8 years, whenever Rodgers gets asked about the run game, I have rarely if ever heard him say "we need to run the ball more", "We need to hand off the ball more", "We need to pound the rock". It's almost always "I think we need to get the RB more Touches" or "More involved."

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croatpackfan's picture

November 24, 2022 at 05:31 pm

Oppy, you nailed it!

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LLCHESTY's picture

November 24, 2022 at 03:24 pm

Nah, they need to save him for his new team next year.

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fangirl's picture

November 24, 2022 at 09:07 pm

Agree-i think he's out. There are @ least 4-5 interested teams.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 24, 2022 at 05:33 pm

One question to all posters:

If Mark Murphy need to chose between ACR & any HC, who he will chose?

Please just that option only.

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ThunderFromDownunder's picture

November 25, 2022 at 01:38 am

Well I think he`s made his bed by paying ACR so he has to pick him .

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Mr_Bill_H's picture

November 24, 2022 at 06:02 pm

No shit?

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fangirl's picture

November 24, 2022 at 09:00 pm

I'm certain the Eagles have an answer for Jones.

Cobb is out again with the 'flu'

No one but Jones, Watson, Doubs, Ford, Walker, Enagbare, MacDuffie and the O-line care

The million dollar vets on secondary and Campbell are too busy planning their trip to Cabo.

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Rebecca's picture

November 25, 2022 at 08:55 am

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

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greenbaygroom's picture

November 25, 2022 at 08:03 pm

Was this article written in 2018? I remember when McCarthy refused to use AJones. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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