Huge day for Aaron Jones helped mask defensive issues in Dallas

At the end of every season, wins are looked at as wins, regardless of the score – but for the Green Bay Packers, their week five victory over the Dallas Cowboys was both impressive and frightening at the same time.

Head coach Matt LaFleur seemed to be able to put a better offensive plan throughout the game, and instead of the typical issues that have plagued the offense, they withstood the charging Cowboys offense and held onto the ball long enough to make sure that Dallas could not mount a large-enough comeback.

Aaron Jones put together his career-defining game so far in his short time with Green Bay, rushing for four touchdowns on 19 carries and catching seven balls for 75 yards. His 182 total yards was an absolute godsend for this team, as the receiving core combined for only four catches and 55 yards on the day.

Even though he only has 302 rushing yards and 150 receiving yards in 2019, Jones’ eight rushing scores put him at the top of the entire league in that category. It also tied a franchise mark of four rushing touchdowns in one game, and his eight trips to the end zone through the first five games is the new team record.  

Even with the faltering of the receivers in the overall offensive gameplan, the Packers were still able to put up 34 points in Jerry World. Now they moved to 4-1 on the year, which is a very impressive feat for a team being led by a first-time head coach in his first season at the helm.

On the other side of the ball, the defensive unit was pitching a shutout until the third quarter, as they had forced Dak Prescott into countless mishaps, resulting in hurried passes and two interceptions up to that point. For some reason, Mike Pettine either let off the gas pedal or something changed in the Cowboys’ playcalling, as they absolutely shredded GB’s pass coverage down the stretch, ending up with 463 yards through the air.

While the defense was afforded a huge lead for the first half and then some, they left the door open for Dallas to get back into the game, making it as close as ten points down the stretch before they ran out of time. Even with the defense putting up a shutout in the first half, they almost ended up blowing the game for the Packers in the end.

Injuries factored into that too, although Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, and Chandon Sullivan all had interceptions of Prescott in the game, including a very nimble, acrobatic play made by Sullivan, who was playing underneath and leaped up to snag the pick. King came into the game banged up (but progressed from no practice to questionable throughout the week), rookie safety Darnell Savage was forced out with an ankle injury, and Za’Darius Smith was in and out dealing with an ongoing injury.

Moving forward, the Packers host the Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders in back-to-back weeks at home, concluding their early run of home contests that has been a big-time contributor to their early-season success. 

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Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23

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