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 yards 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 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.

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