In a 20-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the Green Bay Packers unleashed their dynamic running back, Aaron Jones, in a game-changing move. Head coach Matt LaFleur’s promise to “cut him loose” was fulfilled through his playcalling, and it played a pivotal role in the team’s third win of the 2023 season.
Aaron Jones had a standout performance, recording 20 carries for 73 yards and adding four receptions for 26 yards, marking a season-high of 24 touches. This shift in strategy was no coincidence, as the Packers saw their best offensive production since week 2.
Matt LaFleur acknowledged Jones’s impact, stating, “He’s a dynamic player. Usually, good things happen when the ball is in his hands.” Despite a fumble, Jones showcased his explosiveness and ability to gain yards even when facing run-blocking challenges. He also found the end zone, marking his first touchdown since week 1 in Chicago.
With this touchdown, Aaron Jones climbed to seventh place in franchise history with 63 total touchdowns, surpassing legendary figures Donald Driver and Paul Hornung.
Aaron Jones in the Redzone is the Way for Green Bay pic.twitter.com/V5uaM7vrKm— IKE Packers Podcast (@IKE_Packers) November 5, 2023
By making more frequent use of Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon assumed the role of a change-of-pace running back, better aligning with his skill set and capabilities. In this reduced role, Dillon proved more effective, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and accumulating 40 yards in nine attempts. Emanuel Wilson made a strong contribution in the final drive, gaining 43 yards in just four carries.
Aaron Jones had been dealing with a hamstring injury since week 1, which had limited his playing time. However, as he approached full fitness, the Packers’ offense gained an additional dimension. Their upcoming challenge against the formidable Pittsburgh Steelers defense will put Jones to the test, but both the Rams and Steelers have shown similar performance in run defense metrics.
Beyond his on-field contributions, Aaron Jones assumed a leadership role, particularly in mentoring the young players on the team. With the Packers fielding one of the NFL’s youngest rosters, Jones’ experience and positivity have a significant impact on the team’s mental strength, especially in the face of game-to-game fluctuations.
In a crucial moment when rookie receiver Dontayvion Wicks fumbled, Jones provided emotional support, boosting Wicks’ confidence and ensuring his spirits remained high.
Aaron Jones is undeniably a special talent and has been the Packers’ premier offensive playmaker since Davante Adams’ departure. His contributions extend beyond the field, making him a vital part of the franchise’s future, both on and off the field. The results of his increased opportunities were evident in the team’s resounding victory.