Cory's Corner: Aaron Jones Is The Packers Closer

With Jones, the game is a done deal. 

Whenever top baseball teams have a lead late in a game, they give the ball to their closer. 

On Sunday, Aaron Jones showed that he can be the Packers relief man as he closed out a 30-16 win over Philadelphia. 

"We talked about it the past couple weeks, playing four quarters and finishing," said Jones, who had over eight yards a carry. He rushed for 130 yards and caught three passes for 18 yards. "We knew we had to get out and finish. We let a team back in. We gave them hope but the most important part is we finished."

With the Packers clinging to a 23-16 with under three minutes left, Jones took matters into his own hands. He ran through, around and past five missed tackles. He saw the blitzing safety Jalen Mills and defensive tackle Javon Hargrove crashing hard, so he put his right foot in the ground and made a seamless jump-cut to the middle of the field. He was nearly tripped up seven yards into the play, but he took it 77 yards — his longest rush of the season. 

"On that run, I have to give credit to my teammates," Jones said. "Without them, I wouldn't have been able to finish that run."

He's absolutely right. Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling got enough of a block to seal the touchdown and left tackle David Bakhtiari hustled the entire play, but fortunately for the Eagles, nobody got in his way. Usually on a 77-yard score, running backs have to wait for everyone else to show up in the end zone. He crossed the goal line and they were already there, waiting to celebrate. 

"It's always great to see when you see a guy like David Bakhtiari or a guy like MVS out there in front, you know, straining for their brother on that play," said Packers coach Matt LaFleur. 

That one play spoke volumes about who the Packers are as a team. This is a real team. The guys play for each other and that was showcased on Sunday when two guys took it upon themselves to do what it took to not only get in the end zone, but ultimately secure the win. 

Watch a football team full of individuals and you'll find plenty of guys watching the ball. This sport is the ultimate team game because teams get exposed when all 11 guys aren't in unison and on the same page. This team isn't just on the same page, but they are clearly playing for each other. 

And now they've got a closer coming out of the pen to put games on ice. 

 

 

-------------------

Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

3 points

Comments (32)

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

December 08, 2020 at 06:22 am

A) I love this guy! He's my favorite Packer
B) For 2 years, I knew he had greatness in him, but Fat Mike didn't know or didn't know how to showcase him
C) PAY THE MAN. Let King go to free up $, and if Linsley has to go, let him. Jones is special.

+ REPLY
4 points
11
7
murf7777's picture

December 08, 2020 at 07:42 am

Com on man, why call MM “Fat Mike”. Show some respect for a class act person who had much success with the Packers.

+ REPLY
12 points
17
5
Big_Mel_75's picture

December 08, 2020 at 09:42 am

Only had success because he had the best QB in football and wasted most of his career. Watch him do nothing in Dallas.

+ REPLY
-3 points
3
6
SterlingSharpe's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:53 pm

Who insinuated that "Fat" was bad? No different than "Slim" Shady, or Tall or Short/Shorty etc..... Or "Big" Dog ala Marcedes?

+ REPLY
-2 points
1
3
murf7777's picture

December 08, 2020 at 07:52 pm

That’s a cop out in my book. I’ve never in my life heard someone call another fat that wasn’t derogatory. It’s just wrong and prejudice.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
SterlingSharpe's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:25 am

Oh, one more thing: why the hell do refs let guys facemask Jones? I've seen 3 plays recently where defensive guys GRABBED his facemask when he's carrying the ball with no flag thrown. No zebras watch him when he's the ball-carrier?

+ REPLY
9 points
10
1
marpag1's picture

December 08, 2020 at 09:33 am

Maybe it's for the same reason they didn't call the obvious facemask on Davante Adams.

The refs were fine.

+ REPLY
0 points
5
5
SterlingSharpe's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:54 pm

It's not "fine" to have ball carriers tackled by facemasks & no ref sees it.

Raise your level of expectations.

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
lawatrain's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:45 am

You’re right, noticed that too. They must be looking for holding, so they can wipeout a great run.

+ REPLY
4 points
7
3
arthurl's picture

December 08, 2020 at 07:02 am

That was a great run alright. They have got to give Jones another contract; he’s just entering his prime. He does so many things for this offense and he, along with Adams and the other pieces make this a hard offense to contain. I hope they make Jones and King the priority to bring back. Linsley has been a solid pro, but Jenkins is also a very good center and looks like Runyan will be a solid guard. Good CBs are hard to find and when healthy’ King and Alexander give the Packers two very good corners. With King and his injury history, it will be interesting to see what his marketability really is.

+ REPLY
10 points
11
1
Big_Mel_75's picture

December 08, 2020 at 09:47 am

With what money? Currently for 21 We are over the cap. With Lindsley, Jones, Williams, King do not have contracts. Jones is going to command 8+ mil a year. Totally not worth it. We can get Williams for less then half and be just as good. Draft another 4th rounder like Jones.

+ REPLY
-2 points
4
6
SterlingSharpe's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:57 pm

Jamal is nowhere near "just as good" as Jones is. Let's be realistic here.
Jones is special. Jamal is a dime-a-dozen. Dillon will assume his role next year, minus the pregame dancing.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
mnbadger's picture

December 09, 2020 at 12:37 pm

Thank you, my thoughts exactly. Though I don't mind the dancing. It doesn't seem to be for show, to me it seems like he really enjoys playing the game and especially after a pretty good play. He's apples to oranges with AJones, not comparable at all except both seem to be good teammates. GPG

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Lphill's picture

December 08, 2020 at 07:05 am

Don't forget we have some very good blocking tight ends and wide receivers, I'm sure Jones knows it .

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
PewAuKeeFan's picture

December 08, 2020 at 07:15 am

After Jones got going, here are some key blocks that I noticed:
1) Around the 45 yard line of the Eagles, MVS moved between Jones and 2 defenders (38-Michael Jacquet and 23-Rodney McLeod), allowing Jones to evade them.
2) MVS kept Michael Jacquet out of Jones' way the rest of the run
3) Around the Eagles 20 yard line, Adams (who also hustled down to join the party) was in place to prevent the Eagles' No 29 (Avonte Maddox) from tackling Jones. Bakt also gets honorable mention here.
4) Avonte Maddox managed to get around Adams, but Big Bakt was then there all the way to the end zone.

MVS should be a bit more careful. He had his hand on the back (just light touches) of both No 23 as well as 38. Granted he did not push. But either of them could have faked a push-in-the-back fall, which could have convinced a referee to throw a flag.

+ REPLY
9 points
9
0
HawkPacker's picture

December 09, 2020 at 08:34 am

Yes I caught that as well with MVS touching the back of the defender. He was smart enough not to commit the penalty.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

December 08, 2020 at 07:30 am

The final run by Jones was incredible. Jones escaped from 4-5 tackles. The even better part was watching MVS and Bakhtiari hustling down throwing blocks along the way. If it were not for especially those 2 guys, Jones likely doesn't score.

There were a few runs in this game though that if they hand it off to Williams I don't think he gets positive yards. Jones has that ability to make people miss and bounce plays.

Jones has been averaging 14.5 carries and 75.4 yards per game. He is averaging 3.6 catches and 27.9 yards per game. So he is averaging 18.1 touches per game and 103.3 yards per game.
I think as we are nearing the playoffs we will start to see him getting a few more touches per game. Jones is to good with the ball in his hands to not get more touches.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2020 at 09:08 pm

More like screening for Jones.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
murf7777's picture

December 08, 2020 at 07:53 am

Jones is a very good(not great) RB, so be weary of paying a very good RB a second contract. It’s a slippery slope. That many teams regret after the fact.

Regarding a second contract, Very few RB’s duplicate their success for the next two years much less 4 that Jones will be seeking in a new contract. Now, if you can sign him to a team friendly, one with low guarantees, run to the bank and pay him. Because of the prospective reduction in SC this up coming FA will be unlike any other year and that team friendly contract may be available.

+ REPLY
3 points
7
4
Big_Mel_75's picture

December 08, 2020 at 10:02 am

Couldn't agree more. Gurly, Gordon, Mixon, David Johnson, Zeke Elliott and more all not worth the money they are getting. Draft a RB and sign Williams on the cheap.

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
gkarl's picture

December 08, 2020 at 08:40 am

Have to agree Jones seems to be our RB closer but if he is why don't we use HIM more in 3rd or 4th and short situations?

+ REPLY
0 points
2
2
fansince1959's picture

December 08, 2020 at 08:48 am

they've tried---it hasn't worked when the line is stacked against him---i'd rather see Dillon and williams out there

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Spock's picture

December 08, 2020 at 09:39 am

1959, I'm going to disagree a bit here. Jones has the ability to "get skinny" (especially around the goal line) and get through even a stacked line. I wish MLF would at least try ONE attempt when we're in 1st and goal and short yardage at the goal line. Just my opinion.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 08, 2020 at 10:34 am

Jones has a clear knack for getting into the end zone.

Not only do we need to rest him , but I think the percentages favor using an RB that can move the pile. I would line up in the I formation and use a massive lead blocker, like Runyon, maybe . I’d also pull a tackle to help push the pile. And I’d want my strongest, most sure handed back hugging the rock and pushing the pile.

Williams is that guy. I think someday Dillon could be that guy.

But the Packers like to get tricky, even in short yardage. So I don’t expect to see us trying to pound it in like that.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2020 at 09:14 pm

Use a fullback. Since they don't have one , Gary can be a lead. He knows how to get low and has the speed.
Sternberger took too much action in HB for his concussion history, now he's feeling one again. Lead blocking is not his role. He has to be inline or spread as a receiver. Hopefully he can work through it.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Since'61's picture

December 08, 2020 at 09:49 am

Clearly Jones gets the glory, but the true closer is the OL.
Jones has always been great when he gets in space but the OL must get him to the 2nd level at least.

If we can continue to get solid OL play when our opponents know we are trying to run out the clock we can close out against any team.

The great thing about this TD run by Jones is that other teams will see the tape and this play will make our play action game even more effective because now they will need to respect the run on 2nd and 3rd and long.

It is also great to see many of the Packers players engaged all the way down the field. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

+ REPLY
7 points
7
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 08, 2020 at 11:10 am

I think the offensive line has played very well this year. I think it’s one of the best packer lines we’ve had since the merger in 1970. Would you agree? Obviously the Holmgren lines, and the lines under Sherman, were very good, but this group is in that area.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Since'61's picture

December 08, 2020 at 01:22 pm

Yes, I would agree that our OL has played very well so far this season. The Holmgren OL was more physical
and they were better in short yardage and goal line situations than the current.

However, the current OL has plenty of upside. If they can stay together they will continue to improve. For me the most impressive areas for our OL is their versatility and their depth. The fact that we have at least 3 players, Jenkins, Pactrick and Turner who can play at least 2 positions on the line including Jenkins who can play all 3 is a great plus for this group. Beyond that if Runyon and Stepanak can evolve into solid contributors and maybe Nijman as well we can have a solid OL for years to come. Thanks, Since ‘61

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
marpag1's picture

December 08, 2020 at 11:37 am

It kind of cracks me up how many people seem to think that blocking is way above and beyond the call of duty for a wide receiver, or that blocking is somehow evidence of a WR going the extra mile in an effort to befriend his beloved teammate.

It's called doing your job. It's what a wide receiver is trained to do from the first day he straps on the pads.

And don't even get me started on "...this other player ran ALL THE WAY TO THE END ZONE!!!!!"

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Bure9620's picture

December 10, 2020 at 06:26 am

True, but tell that to players like Antonio Brown.....

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
ricky's picture

December 08, 2020 at 11:56 am

If the defense had been decent on fourth and 18, letting Hurts get his first professional TD; and if the ST's hadn't proved totally inept again, allowing an untouched TD, there would have been no need for late game heroics. The Packers need to move on from Pettine and Mennenga. Time to open the wallet and pay enough to get really qualified guys coaching those areas. It might happen with the DC. But I get the feeling the Packers will once again blanch at paying a decent salary to a ST's guru.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Mojo's picture

December 08, 2020 at 11:59 pm

I'm not big on giving RB's big second contracts, but up to now Jones has averaged only 12 carries a game through out his regular season pro career(595 thru 50 games). Although he's had problems with his knees in the past he has not taken too much punishment for a starter.

He just turned 26. With a relatively small load so far and relatively young, he should be productive for a least two to three more years. He's probably looking for four more years which is what GB might need to do with a substantial signing bonus.

Nothing against J. Williams, who I like for what he does, but Jones provides big play ability Williams just can't match.

Jones is an above average receiver for a RB, top tier runner and a willing blocker. He's tougher than you might think for his size. He quickly became one of the more essential players on the Packers offense.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.