Aaron Jones is the boost the Green Bay Packers need

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images /

The Green Bay Packers have lacked an elite running back option for a long time. Aaron Jones has the ability to be that guy when he returns this week.

Through two games, the Green Bay Packers are tied for 25th in the NFL in rushing yards per game. While some of that is poor matchups or playing from behind, the Packers need to know they can run the ball when the passing game just isn’t working. In December, when it’s cold and wet, they need a player that can take the heat off of Aaron Rodgers without completely hamstringing their offense. That player is second-year man Aaron Jones.

Jones burst onto the scene last year in a big way with an outstanding performance against the Dallas Cowboys last season. Between the top three running backs on the chart, Jones is the most complete between running and receiving. He showed great vision last season with the hands to give Rodgers a safety valve underneath. He has the unique talent to be a legitimate three-down running back for a team that hasn’t had that in a few years.

Last season, he averaged 5.5 yards per carry, which would rank eighth this season. Jones’ size and athleticism make him the ideal candidate to compliment Rodgers. He won’t be required to carry the ball 25 times in a game, but he can easily handle 15-20. This offense will always be built around Rodgers’ arm, but they need to be able to sustain it when he can’t be at his best. Jones needs to quickly get back up to speed to fill that spot.

Thankfully for Jones, Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery have fallen short of expectations, which leaves the door wide open for him to capture the starting spot. Williams is averaging about 3.4 yards per carry, which isn’t efficient enough to lock himself into a starting spot. Montgomery averages a healthy 5.4 yards per carry. While this is a good average, Montgomery has shown that he doesn’t have the size to be an every-down back.

The offensive line, along with tight end acquisition Marcedes Lewis, has the ability to open some big holes for Jones. Against the Washington Redskins this week, the team has a somewhat difficult matchup. They currently rank 10th in the league in total rushing yards allowed. The team would be wise to ease him back into the swing of things this week. However, if he shows that he can handle a larger workload, the team should get a lead then let Jones keep running.

One major aspect that Jones needs to work on is his pass blocking. While Williams looks like a small linemen picking up rushers, Jones has a ways to go. With no set timetable on Rodgers injury to heal, the team needs to know that Jones can hold up against pass rushers. He and Williams should spend a lot of time together this week working on that. The more Jones is able to be on the field the better.

In addition to the help that Jones will give to Rodgers, he will help the offense as a whole. He can run routes better than Williams, which can help scheme receivers open, which some have said the Packers don’t do well. Jones has the skills to be the next great running back in this league, but he just has to capitalize on his opportunity. With multiple backs and Rodgers around to support him, he has all the talent to succeed starting this week.