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Revved-Up Josh Jones Fuels Gritty Packers Win

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Revved-Up Josh Jones Fuels Gritty Packers Win

When the Packers drafted Josh Jones in the second round back in April, it was only a matter of time into the regular season before the rookie would begin making his case for more snaps.

Now, after an injury to Kentrell Brice in last week's loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Jones got his shot.

He didn't play in the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks and he saw just 29 snaps against the aforementioned Falcons, but on Sunday, he made sure his presence was felt tenfold against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jones led the team in every defensive category by the time Mason Crosby's walk-off field goal won the game in overtime for the Packers. He finished with 12 total tackles, two sacks and three tackles for a loss. He also got to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton for two hits. 

Josh Jones (27) celebrating after sacking Andy Dalton. (Dan Powers/USA TODAY Sports)

Both of his sacks came in crucial third-down situations. One in the first quarter and one in the third to push the Bengals nearly entirely out of field goal range when they were threatening to increase their lead to double-digits. Jones' sack forced Randy Bullock to miss his kick wide right from 48 yards away.

Jones also made a vital third-down tackle on the Bengals' lone overtime possession, forcing the punt and giving quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the offense a chance to win the game -- which is precisely what they did.

Whether this performance knocks Brice down on the depth chart and leaves Jones as a significant component to defensive coordinator Dom Capers' "nitro package" is unlikely, considering the Packers don't make assessments based off of one game.

One thing, however, is for certain: The Packers are going to have to find a way to get Jones more snaps.

Many viewed the North Carolina State product as a replacement for ex-cornerback Micah Hyde, who was a human Swiss Army knife for the defense. Others, meanwhile, see him as an outlet that provides safety Morgan Burnett to play on the back end at his natural safety spot. Either that or Burnett's eventual replacement.

Sunday was a hint of the many possibilities Jones is capable of when deployed into a variety of situations. He essentially shined on third down against the Bengals and could certainly be attributed as one of the major reasons why the Packers were able to walk away with their second win of the season.

Between Jones and inside linebacker Blake Martinez, who somehow flew under the radar despite finishing second on the team in tackles (11) just behind Jones -- one of them being an impressive open-field tackle on A.J. Green in the fourth quarter -- the Packers certainly have a handful of performances to gush over.

On a short week, the Packers will lick their wounds and hope to get back at least a couple of their seven doubtful players from week three before Thursday night when the rival Chicago Bears venture into Lambeau Field.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (44) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

GBPDAN1's picture

Would like to see more snaps of Jones as the Nitro LB with Burnett and HHCD at safety. Having talent like Brice as an option is a great alternative. This team is loaded at safety.

We need to get past the Bears somehow with all these injuries. 4 days to heal up is rough. If we can at least get Bak back the offense will get rolling. Then we have 10 days to get Daniels and others healthy for the road games at Dallas and Minnesota. Hopefully Perry can wear a club by then. Go Pack!

WinUSA's picture

Fortunately, the Bears had the same disadvantage as the Packers...they also played over time and have the short week with us...just wish Dominic Gentile was around...seemed we didn't have this problem with him doctoring up our players....

cuervo's picture

Yes, Jones played well so did Martinez. But let's temper that exuberance with the fact that the team we played hadn't scored a touchdown until they played us today.

How in the hell does a coaching staff start a game so dysfunctional on both sides of the ball. What did they do all week game planning? Yeah, I know we scored a TD on our first drive, after that it was groundhog day again for the Packers offense and defense.

Ty Montgomery will be completely useless in another couple weeks if they keep up the workload they are giving him. They have 3 other tailbacks on the roster...please play one of them. If you want a guy to run in a straight line..Williams is your guy, if you want something more try one of the other two. And please don't anyone here tell me it's about the backs being able to pass block ...did you watch the game today?

I don't think we (or McCarthy) have any idea what this team really is, but right now I think we are the 3rd or 4th team in the division the way we are playing. Trust me, the Bears are not the Bears of old.

We were lucky to win today against a team that is in a death spiral, if we somehow figure out a way to win against the Bears maybe the mini bye will give us time to get healthy and do a's needed.

Maybe this season will finally get Marvin Lewis in the hell that guy has been able to retain his job for 15 years is one of the great mysteries in sports.

Tundraboy's picture

"Ty Montgomery will be completely useless in another couple weeks if they keep up the workload they are giving him. They have 3 other tailbacks on the roster...please play one of them. If you want a guy to run in a straight line..Williams is your guy, if you want something more try one of the other two. And please don't anyone here tell me it's about the backs being able to pass block ...did you watch the game today?"

Yes. Pretty much word for word what I was muttering to myself all game.

billybobton's picture

Yes and even when ROMO pointed out how poorly monty is at pass blocking it did not change....he is not good and does not look remotely inclined to get good....yet read the comments it is like that did not impact the game at all whereas Bennett was knocking people back in pass protection just as bubba franks had to play full back instead of TE to protect the pieces of trash teddie pushed into the OL at guard

no knocks on MB or bubba for being team players and giving up stats to keep a QB alive

if MONTY could do that I would be fine with him at RB but he does not even make an effort

flackcatcher's picture

I got bad news for you. Mike Brown all most never fires his head coaches. Waits for their contracts to expire. His rep as the biggest skin flint in the NFL is well earned. Besides, Marvin Lewis may be the only head coach to be able to pry Brown's wallet open.

WinUSA's picture

When a runner has been beaten up by a work load..they start running east and was the case in the second half with Montgomery...very concerning...

nostradanus's picture

I must admit, I had many unkind words for our Packers in the first half of this game. Sacks, interceptions, defensive ineptitude and making Andy Dalton look like a red headed Brett Favre. But Aaron Rodgers Geranimo Allison, Jordy Nelson, Eric Kendricks, Blake Martinez, Josh Jones and even Ahmad Brooks helped the battered Packers pick up a hard fought and thrilling victory.
Way to show some grit boys! Bring on da Bears!

Go Pack!!

KenEllis's picture

"Eric Kendricks?"

Oh man, if we could redo the 2015 pick and get a stud inside linebacker like Kendricks instead of Damarious Randall, I'd be so happy.

dblbogey's picture

If I could be rich and famous but had to look like Andy Dalton's face, I would rather be poor and stupid. I realize that is mean and childish, but so am I tonight.

EdsLaces's picture

One things for sure Jones belong near the LOS imo.

The TKstinator's picture

Hey ZJ, JJ was selected in round two.

Mojo's picture

ZJ was thinking of James Jones .... and the 2007 draft.

Johnblood27's picture

Im watching the raider-redskin game and with kelly out I see perine taking most of the carries and thompson catching passes etc.

using a young rb that may not be the best at blitz pickup is simply a case of putting them in positions to succeed given their skill sets.

MM needs to pull his head out and start using his entire roster. He and TT kept them, play them!

Since '61's picture

Jones, and Brooks made some big plays today. Martinez may have had his best game as a Packer. Considering all the injured players the Packers defense did a great job after giving up 2 TDs to a team that had not scored a TD in their first 2 home games. After that they allowed only 3 more points. Jones lead the way. I like the way Brice hits but Jones can make plays all over the field, covering TEs and RBs, stopping the run, blitzing and making sacks. He needs to play regardless of Brice's health. Thanks, Since '61

flackcatcher's picture

I assume Jones and King were fairly assignment sure. Otherwise Perry and Whitt would have pulled them. Well, you can't teach size and speed. Kings size made Dalton adjust his throws, and led to some of his overthrows. Jones is a man on the field. Packers have not have some one this big in their secondary since what 2013?(that SS from WVA) Packers went mostly man up in the second half, and shut the Bengals WR-TE down. HA-HA had a thankless job playing 1 high. He covered up a lot of mistakes on the back end. Burnett was quietly stout in the second half, he played with a real edge. I don't know why people think he's expendable. Either way, the rookies have earned their right to start. Dom Capers is a happy camper, he finally got what he wanted for years, with depth too boot. Let the Blitzing begin.

stockholder's picture

Right on. This team has it's best Safeties in years. Keep them All. Pay Defense, Not Offense!

Turophile's picture

flakcatcher. Both King and Jones made mistakes. the reason they weren't pulled, is that they made plays too. King survived against a terrific receiver, while Jones was a tackling machine to go with his sacks.

They both have to work on the things they didn't do so well, but they also showed great promise. They just need time and snaps to keep getting better.

flackcatcher's picture

Yup. Totally agree.

Point Packer's picture

Jones was a machine.

4thand1's picture

We have have a difference maker in the making on defense. JJ had a great day. Now Daniels get back quick.

Tundraboy's picture

In a frustrating and painful to watch game, it was a great win, made better by the play of Jones and Martinez. The first, was great play by a rookie draft pick and the other real signs of hope at a position I had just about given up on entirely. Wow, never expected that. With King and some health from the rest we may have a D that by season end may be something we can rely on. Perhaps one we can even take pride in. Another nice surprise was Allison. Having a taller, long armed WR was something we have lacked for too long. Oh and that last throw by Rodgers to Nelson, wow.

Turophile's picture

It's a nice reply to some fans who never forgave TT for taking King (and let's bear in mind we got Biegel as well by trading down), when T.J.Watt was sitting there. King has a good shot at being a no.1 CB.

I have felt ok about the ILBs for a while. Ryan and Martinez were never the elite athlete type like Kuechly, but they were both among the most intuitive and savvy players in their two draft years, they just needed some time to adapt to the hugely more complex NFL game.

Now to go with them we have a modern day ILB/S type (Josh Jones) that does have the great speed (4.43 40), enough size (220lb) and the tackling/hitting aptitude, to be a factor. He is looking like a steal in the tail end of round 2. ILB has been a weakness in the past - not now. The investment there is paying off. DL has also been a ho-hum unit for a while, they are real up-and-comers, as well. I expect good things once Mike Daniels is back. It's a bit early in their career, for guys like Clark, Lowry, Montravius Adams to mask the loss of Mike D on the line, but by the end of the season it may well be a different story - and no, I'm not suggesting Daniels could be let go, he's brutal in a good way, on that line.

Next year I'd like to see a top WR drafted (eventual replacement for Jordy) and a top OLB pass rusher (because this unit always suffers injuries). Have to wait out this season to see what we finally have in Randall and Rollins, before making a decision there.

No question in my mind, the D is steadily getting better - and I think we see that going through this season, as long as they stay moderately healthy.

Just a few days now for the battered team to prepare for an improving Bears team. I hope they are fit enough for that challenge on Thursday.

Nick Perry's picture

Was thinking about the same thing yesterday, the Packers need a WR who can hopefully take Jordy Nelsons spot In a few years. Nelson is still productive and I could see him being one of those older "Savvy" WR in 2018 and 2019 even, but they need a speed/size guy and they need him soon.

Siwi87's picture

I have been saying for years to use all of our toys....whether it's rbs or safeties.....but when your down as a coach you go to the well and I believe that's why we only saw Monty. Arod is also very comfortable with him when the game is on the there is that too. A rotation early against that team Thursday would be nice to see. Where was Kendricks and Jones the first two games? Guys like Gmo and Kendricks should continue to make big plays being covered by lesser defensive players because of Nelson, Adams, Bennett, Monty and Cobb....Arod has to look for them though! Now to the injuries....injuries rule this league end of story period....we need to get healthy even if it means another loss somewhere.....gulp! If it's Thursday. We cannot keep playing with backups everywhere especially on the oline. A game plan to start fast and force Glennon to throw is a must or they will try to shorten the game and hope something falls their way.
I am hopefull for Bulaga and Perry with cast of course to play Thursday and maybe even Cobb....but do not risk the future! Eye on the prize!

RCPackerFan's picture

Absolutely loved seeing Jones show us what he could do today! While he made a few rookie mistakes, he showed us what we have been missing, pure speed and playmaking ability.
I loved that they had him playing ILB. Playing in the box is definitely going to be his strong suit.

Jones brings something we haven't had in a while. A guy who can be a true difference maker!

I also liked what I saw from King. He had a tough task covering AJ Green. And overall I thought he held up well. I like having the rookies playing now so they will improve as the season goes on.

Brandon Fisher's picture

Nice seeing the rookie Jones really have his break out game on defense. Now wish we can see our other rookie Jones at running back because Williams is not the answer imo and Ty isn't going to make it the whole season playing like this.

Spock's picture

I caught the end of the Patriots/Texans game where the "worst team in the world" (per the Bengal's players) darn near won the game. I don't think the Bengal's were as bad a team as many thought. The beat up Packers found a way to get the "W" in the second half and that's all that matters. Hopefully, the "walking wounded" for the Packers will have some available for Thursday night's game. When it's all said and done it is more important to win a division game. Go Pack Go!!

HankScorpio's picture

The Bengals are a team that is talented but dysfunctional. Joe Mixon is the poster child for them...all the talent in the world but a 10 cent head that thinks it is ok to punch women if they make him mad enough. With the injury list the Packers had, I expected something way closer than Vegas expected all week. Especially after the Bengals got a jolt by firing the OC. Nothing like someone losing their job to show the rest of them that NFL stand for Not For Long.

Come December, when teams are jockeying for playoff position, it won't matter that the Packers didn't cover the spread or have an easy go of it. All that will matter is the game shows up in the Win column.

Dus10P's picture

Just wanted to let the publisher know of an error: Josh Jones was a second round pick, not a third.

Nick Perry's picture

I was upset when Thompson drafted Jones over Jordan Willis and after one game and against each others teams Jones looked like the better pick. I was wrong.

I also thought Thompson should have taken Carl Lawson, a pass rushing specialist from the SEC instead of Biegel. Sure I was happy we took the hometown kid but if I took my "Homer Roots" out of it, Lawson should have been the pick. Lawson had a great game beating the Packers RT like a drum. Even healthy I'm not sure Biegel could do that. I hope I'm wrong about that one too.

Josh Jones was all over the field today and had a game Brice has NEVER had and I'm not to sure even has in him. Sure Brice hits like a ton of bricks but so can Jones. Jones also seems like a very sure tackler, something he wasn't really credited for coming out if IIRC. That tackle on 3rd down in overtime was a thing of beauty!

Jones EARNED his spot on the defense today as the starter in the Nitro Package. Even McCarthy and Capers shouldn't be able to come up with a reason to take Jones off the field, even when Brice is healthy. It was only ONE GAME but what a beautiful game it was.

stockholder's picture

This last Draft was TTs best in years. The top 4 picks filled need and change. The secondary was the problem. We all have are favorites. Watt and Willis would have been a plus. It's easy to see why you wanted them. We found gems in Williams and Shields. And many think TT could have found Carbon copies. They had their ups and downs. But King and Jones were the correct picks. Willis was climbing, but had trouble getting off blocks. Jones was expected to go to the Cowboys. And as much as I like Watt. The extra forth round pick was worth the drop.

RCPackerFan's picture

Lets stay calm with Biegel and the rest of the draft picks.

So many people wanted to call the Packers draft a bust before they even took the field for the first time. When Watt had 2 sacks in the first game so many fans wanted to say that the Packers screwed up the draft.

King is showing that he was a good pick but its still early. Biegel has yet to take the field. We won't know how good he will be yet. Honestly we probably won't know until next year.

Remember that the draft isn't about this year. Its about next year and down the road.

HankScorpio's picture


Case in point would be Kenny Clark. Some of the offseason chatter after his rookie year was centered on him being a bust. Through 3 games in year two, he's drawing some praise for anchoring the middle of the field.
Obviously, you'd love to see every draft pick step in and make an immediate impact. But that's not reality.

I really would like to see the draft season include a heavy dose of grading prior classes in the run up to the big day. The fact that draft classes are graded instantly and then largely forgotten is something of a driver for those unrealistic instant gratification attitudes.

RCPackerFan's picture

Oh definitely. And like Clark, you really saw him come on late in the year last year. We may see that with our rookies as well.
A lot of which haven't really played yet. Guys like Adams, Biegel, Williams, Aaron Jones all have basically not played at all outside of WIlliams.

Basically most instant draft grades are based on the draft guru's draft rankings. Like they say you can't truly grade a draft until 3-5 years after.

I will say that the early signs for this draft are very good. And we have yet to see many of the players. We have to stop being in such a rush to determine whether a player is a bust.

Nick Perry's picture

Off Topic.... Geronimo Allison was a stud today. Sure he had a drop but so did every other Packers receiver not named Nelson. Can we PLEASE stop with the comments about the mans speed? He saved the Packers ass a few times at the end of the year and he saved their ass yesterday.


Tundraboy's picture

He looks like a classic wide receiver. Most of all he can play and brings a dimension we are lacking, a taller, shifty, lanky WR to complement Nelson, Cobb and Adams. Geronimo is a football player. You can see it. Just like with Jones,King, and now Martinez. Now let's see if the other Jones and even Mays are. From what I saw, I would like to see what they have. It's on you MM.

Handsback's picture

This isn't to diminish JJ's accolades, but do you remember that RB from the Bengals walking into the end zone for the second TD? Well that was on JJ. So he can't be making those kind of rookie mistakes. Otherwise....he and Martinez had really good games.

Tundraboy's picture


Archie's picture

Not to take anything away from the win as a win is a win, the Packers won that game mostly because Andy Dalton sucked at key moments in the 2nd half. If I'm Marvin Lewis I make the switch to AJ McCarron.

Maybe TT got it right on draft day by taking King-Jones 1-2 and getting Biegel as a bonus but those picks were forced by need (as TJ Watt would have been), never a good thing when making your premium picks. My on-the-clock pick for the Pack was Joe Mixon. Mixon has Le'veon Bell talent and would have been a perfect fit for GB's offense. As he showed yesterday, he doesn't need a good OL to create big runs for himself and he is dynamite catching the ball out of the backfield. Yes, as an 18 yo he made a big mistake by physically retaliating against a young woman who had just slapped him in the face. He ignored a major societal boundary but he has since recognized his mistake, apologized for it, paid his debt to society and moved on with his life. Can we ask any more of him or must he be condemned forever? Obviously he will always be on a short leash but like all of us, the kid deserves a second chance. There is no denying his incredible talent - maybe the best RB in this RB laden draft.

Josh Jones was spectacular in his debut and if that is who he really is as a Pro, we have found our nitro-man. Jones was not on my radar on draft day but then neither was Nick Collins.

Carl Lawson (Bengals) was the other rookie that shined in this game. He was on most everyone's draft day radar. Hard to believe that TT passed on him 5 times. Maybe he didn't fit their DL system and was a risky convert to elephant.

HankScorpio's picture

Mixon may be a very talented guy and I don't begrudge him a second chance for a youthful mistake, even a very serious one. That doesn't mean I want to root for him, either.

I don't expect the Packers to be a team of choir boys. I know that won't happen. But the less miscreants the better.

mrtundra's picture

A grittier performance by any other team will be hard to find! ARod being able to draw a Bengals' DE offsides and then connecting with GERONIMO! for a 71 yard gain, was amazing. Until I saw Allison make those defenders miss on that play, I thought Davante Adams was the only WR we had who could make defenders miss. A great effort by ARod and Allison! Josh Jones is going to be a superstar for this team. Clark did well in the middle of our D Line. Our OTs had a rough day protecting ARod but they will only get better. Looking forward to Da Bears game. GO PACK, GO!

Jaypack's picture

Fantastic performance by Jones! You can see the raw, superstar talent in him and King. And Rodger's unreal magician work once again bailed MM out of yet another poor gameplay and play calling.

Packatron's picture

I wish we can find a couple more Josh Jones's for this defense. He plays with an attitude and tenacity the Packers haven't had in a while.

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