Game Changing Play of the Week: Big Aaron Jones Run Sets Up Important Score

Entering the second half with a nine-point lead and possession of the football, the Packers needed to drive down the field and make a statement after having allowed a pretty awful late first half drive to the Rams' offense.

On the first play from scrimmage of the third quarter, Aaron Jones took matters into his own hands with a 60-yard run that became my choice for Game Changing Play of the Week.

The play

While there were a few fourth quarter defensive stops I considered for this week, my choice of this run was largely due to the fact that it set up a score that gave the Packers a lot of breathing room in the second half, and a lead that turned out to be insurmountable.

Plus, it was just a pretty sick run.

The Rams come out in a single-high safety look (one safety not in view at the start of the play). What really makes this play is the blocks at the start.

Both guards Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick are able to push their men off to either side. Corey Linsley is able to give a slight chip to help Patrick before immediately being able to blast up the center of the field and go to block the other safety. A corner and linebacker are slow to react to the run--they back up, momentarily expecting the Packers to go with a pass out of the shotgun. This means when Jones gets the football, there's nobody nearby to touch him, thanks to the excellent blocks by the guards, the ability of Linsley to head straight downfield and the Rams defenders backing off to start the play.

The rest is just Jones's burst and vision. He's not touched until he's past midield, when he's able to break the tackle and proceed for another 25 or 30 yards before being run out of bounds. 

The Packers had a touchdown a few plays later, and a little bit of breathing room to keep the Rams pressing for the rest of the game.

 

Go Pack Go!

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

6 points

Comments (22)

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 18, 2021 at 01:36 pm

I really hope there is a way to resign Jones.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 18, 2021 at 05:25 pm

Would love to re-sign Jones. He's a bad ass. But he's not going to take a home town discount, and he shouldn't. We've got a promising 2nd round pick who has to play, and we don't have enough money under the cap to sign everyone. :(

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HankScorpio's picture

January 18, 2021 at 05:41 pm

I agree that Jones won't be back next year. I'll be happy for him if he strikes paydirt and sad for the Packers. Hopefully, they will be able to give him a nice shiny ring as a parting gift. He will have been a big part of the reason they can do that, should it happen.

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Coldworld's picture

January 18, 2021 at 06:23 pm

Unfortunately, this is the point of the cap and parity. There was an argument that Jones should have been prioritized over Bakh given age and (thus far) replacement level. As we’ve heard from many, hardly the majority preference and definitely not clear cut, In any case, it looks like the team had made the decision in principle before the last draft. I can’t see Jones staying and I regret that. But it’s the price of being good. Jones is fun to watch. He has earned this pay day. Let’s just get him a ring first.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 18, 2021 at 07:42 pm

RBs do not protect Rodgers blind side. Quite a few dynamic backs in the 2021 draft.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2021 at 11:05 pm

That’s BS. No way that we should let him go. He’s given us more spectacular plays at running back than anyone since Green. Why would you let him go. The point of the draft is to find game changing players and we did.

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Jared's picture

January 19, 2021 at 01:23 am

I agree with you BUT do we let Linsley walk? We can’t keep everyone. Would love to see some high payed veterans renegotiate their contracts but that ain’t gonna happen either. It comes down to who can you afford NOT to lose.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 19, 2021 at 07:39 am

Linsley is gone. His chronic back issues, age, and the fact that rare is the Packer who gets a 3rd contract. Oh, and they've already drafted his replacement(s) this past year on day 3...

He's a stud. I wish him well. Another one I want to send off with a ring. And bring a 3rd round comp back, will ya?

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 19, 2021 at 04:15 pm

Not sure Hanson replaces number 63.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 19, 2021 at 08:13 am

I understand and there will be hard choices and casualties, please just not AJ

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dobber's picture

January 19, 2021 at 08:26 am

Certainly BG has talked about wanting to be in a buyer's position in FA this spring...which seems odd considering the rumored cuts on the cap and corresponding cuts the Packers would need to make. Bottom line is that the Packers have a bunch of FAs that they can't afford to retain. They cast their lot with Bakhtiari with regard to their ability to chase too many of their own FAs.

Still, the potential cuts of P. Smith and other vets that we were talking about in September (Amos, Wagner, Kirksey, etc.) have changed for some because several have elevated their play as the season has progressed or because injuries (Bakhtiari) have left the Packers thin and needing at those spots for 2021. Kirksey is probably still a goner and Lowry is hard to justify paying, but I think P. Smith might be a hard cut.

I think an extension for Adams is on the horizon (I've been saying that for a year, now, though--so what do I know?) which will generate some space. Same might be true for Billy Turner--who has proved to be a bargain in a deal many of us bemoaned a year ago--or Amos. Those would clear short-term cap space. There are a huge number of moving pieces here, with players drafted to inherit openings. Packers need to develop these guys and keep an eye forward.

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Guam's picture

January 19, 2021 at 08:04 am

"Why would you let him go". Because the Packers don't have the salary cap space? This is not a question of what the Packers want to do, but what the salary cap will force them to do. The Packers are going to have to cut current players that are under contract just to get under the cap, much less have room to sign free agents such as Jones. The Packers will lose Jones, Linsley and King as free agents and probably also have to cut P. Smith, Kirksey and maybe one more just to under the cap. All things no one wants to do, but all things required by the hard salary cap of the NFL.

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dobber's picture

January 19, 2021 at 09:57 am

We'll have to see what the owners and players agree to with regard to cap. It's becoming more likely that there won't be a radical cutback into the $175M range on the cap that would cripple a lot of teams and cut the earning power of players. Something will happen...potentially a cap freeze.

Added in edit:
https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/12/06/optimism-emerges-regard...

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Bure9620's picture

January 19, 2021 at 09:33 am

We cannot resign Jones. He is effectively a free agent already as they got nothing done last offseason. Jones will be far too expensive now going into a year where we will need to unload over $21 mil. Rosenhaus will not be accepting a home town discount. He will command Kamara money. Also we have more big deals coming....Jaire is about to get paid....Packers will exercise the option but knowing Russ Ball he will want an extension done asap to push that money out.

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Swisch's picture

January 18, 2021 at 07:15 pm

Aaron Jones is awesome. I think we make a bona fide offer to him, but it probably wouldn't be enough.
I wouldn't want to guarantee much money to Jones after the next two seasons.
With the Rams so recent in our memory, we can think of Cam Akers eventually replacing Todd Gurley.
It seems not so long ago that the Rams and Gurley were in a similar position as we are now with the Packers and Jones.
Gurley was as good as Jones, it seems, if not better.
Then, after signing a big contract, Gurley was soon much less of a running back, just okay, perhaps barely even a starter. Now he's with a different team.
What happened? I would be glad for other, more knowledgeable, fans to tell Gurley's story with more precision (because I really do have confidence in the fans here at CHTV to provide accurate information and insightful opinion -- even though I haven't been much supported, if at all, in that assertion by these very fans ).
The lesson seems to be clear, though, especially as it has been repeated with so many excellent running backs who electrified the NFL but then shorted out seemingly overnight (as a recent article here at CHTV discussed).
We can admire Aaron Jones, applaud him, embrace him as a person, and generally appreciate him for decades to come (including, we hope, at many Super Bowl reunions from this season) -- but it seems so risky to sign any running back to a second contract for more than a couple of years.

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GregC's picture

January 18, 2021 at 07:53 pm

Gurley tore his ACL in college, and a few years later he began to have problems with the same knee. That sometimes happens after an ACL injury. Jones has never had such a major injury. Also, Jones has not had nearly as many carries as Gurley did during his first four years. So I think Jones has a much better chance of remaining productive for at least a few more years. Still, I think that at least one other team is going to offer him a bigger contract than the Packers will. I would love to have him back if possible, but it will probably be hard to keep him.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 19, 2021 at 08:15 am

Yes very different situation.

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Bure9620's picture

January 19, 2021 at 10:58 am

So where else would you trim?? Even with all of the players becoming FA's the Packers are STILL $21 mill over next years cap.....you would then extend Jones and let whom else go? Even releasing P. Smith, Lowry and Wagner would just barely get us just under the cap without any new extensions....

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blacke00's picture

January 19, 2021 at 07:14 am

Of course we all would love for Jones to resign, but if it come s to choosing be Jones and Linsey, it's Linsey. But I doubt they can do either. The Salary Cap is going down and it's going to be tough over the next year. The draft will be key in the next couple of years.

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Bure9620's picture

January 19, 2021 at 10:59 am

They cannot afford either which is why they have tried to draft replacements

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fansince1959's picture

January 19, 2021 at 11:56 am

He is fantastic and i wish him well but he may realize that Rodgers and our OL also helped him----others have discovered that, after moving on---it's a short career so certainly wouldn't blame him for taking the money

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fansince1959's picture

January 19, 2021 at 11:56 am

He is fantastic and i wish him well but he may realize that Rodgers and our OL also helped him----others have discovered that, after moving on---it's a short career so certainly wouldn't blame him for taking the money

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