This past Sunday was the coming out party for Aaron Jones. Granted, many fans in Packer Nation already knew he was the best running back on the roster and should’ve been carrying the working load. On Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins, Aaron Jones finally got his opportunity.
Jones turned 15 carries into a career-high 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. He averaged 9.7 yards per carry. It was obvious, the more Jones was involved in the offense, the more productive it was.
Jones carried the ball over 15 times only twice before in his young career. Both of those games occurred last year. Against the Cowboys, he carried the ball 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown. The other time was against the Saints where he had 17 carries for 131 yards and touchdown. Every time Jones gets 15 or more carries in a game, he runs for over 100 yards and has at least one touchdown.
The optimal number of touches Jones needs in this Packers offense appears to be 15 – 20. Against Miami, Jones had 18 touches for 172 yards of the 382 total yards the Packers offense generated.
He was an integral part of three offensive drives on Sunday. When McCarthy went away from Jones, the offense seemed to stall and not be productive. It’s now up to McCarthy to utilize one of his best offensive weapons to get keep the pressure off of Rodgers and open up the offense.
The way that this year’s Green Bay Packers team is built, they simply can not be so reliant on throwing the football. They do not have the receiving weapons as they did when they had Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James James and Jordy Nelson. For this years’ team to be successful, they need to have a more balanced offensive attack. It will never be a 50/50 split, and it shouldn’t be with Rodgers at quarterback. A 60/40, pass/run split, would be the optimal scenario for a quality offensive output this year.
Jones is a rising star and the rest of the league is now aware. McCarthy now has to consistently provide Jones with the opportunities to be the workhorse.
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag