Of the final five games of the 2019 regular season, the Green Bay Packers play three of those outdoors in cold climate, which can absolutely become an advantage down the stretch. With cold weather comes wind and snow, and with wind and snow comes the need to run the ball more, so enter in Aaron Jones into the conversation.
Head coach Matt LaFleur was on record saying that it falls on him to include Jones more and last week’s slaughter in California did not see the requisite amount of touches for Jones that can maximize his capabilities and a runner and a pass-catcher. Outside of that, the state of California has some sort of BS voodoo spell on this team, so it is best to not have to go back there again this year.
Playing in the Meadowlands in New York is the first of three consecutive outdoor games for this team, and with Giants quarterback Daniel Jones having ‘never played in the snow,’ that makes it ripe for the Packers to pounce early and pounce often on the Duke rookie. With standout running back Saquon Barkley looking to bounce back from a few disappointing weeks after suffering a leg injury, the Packers should key in on making D. Jones beat them, which he has struggled to prove so far in his young NFL career.
While the Giants secondary is quite poor, to put it nicely, Jones needs to be given opportunities both on the ground and through the air to get him 20+ touches.
Against the Redskins the following week, they welcome Washington to Lambeau Field for the first matchup in the month of December. While the forecast always seems to include snow whenever football is being played in the state of Wisconsin, that works in the favor of the Packers 11 out of 10 times.
With the Redskins starting rookie Dwayne Haskins for the remainder of the year behind an inept offensive line and a set of offensive weapons devoid of talent outside of Terry McLaurin, the defense should be able to hopefully use this game as a ‘get-right’ contest before facing off against their NFC North opponents for three consecutive weeks.
Marking the final home contest of the regular season, the Packers and the Chicago Bears face off in a noon affair that should include a bunch of fireworks between the long-time rivals and potentially some inclement weather. Currently, the Bears are still in the hunt for a Wild Card spot, but this late in the year they may only be playing the role of spoiler if they have fallen behind the pack.
Used to playing in bad weather, the Bears should not be phased by the snow and wind, but with how Mitchell Trubisky and his offense has been playing with the inconsistent playcalling, anything can happen with this team. Even as good as the Bears defense was made out to be when this season started, they have been susceptible over the course of the year, having been taken advantage of by lowly teams.
Even with ending the season by playing on the road, indoors, against two divisional rivals, Jones can still be thrown into the game script just as much, if not more, than if they were playing in the elements. His ability to show that he can be one of the better all-purpose backs in the league has shown this year, and LaFleur has helped showcase those characteristics.
By taking some of the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers in the cold by controlling game speed and tempo, both Jones and his backfield counterpart Jamaal Williams are well-suited to become big-time spark plugs for this team as the calendar changes over to the month of December.뿓뿓뿓
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