With Jordan Love stepping into the role of starting quarterback, Love will have some big shoes to fill. But as we all know football is the ultimate team sport and Jordan Love doesn’t have to do this alone. The running game can certainly help with the transition at the quarterback position.
For the longest time the Packers have been known as a pass first offense, using the passing game first to set up the run towards the end of the game, tiring out and punishing defenses.
But now with Love starting at quarterback, with the expected departure of Aaron Rodgers. The Packers may have to turn to the running game to help Love out.
The Packers luckily have two running backs, that are capable of carrying the load for the Packers.
Aaron Jones and A.J Dillon create a great one, two punch that any defense would fear.
Together last year Jones and Dillon rushed for 1,891 yards and 9 touchdowns. Jones led the Packers in rushing with 1,121 yards while Dillon rushed for 770 yards.
While Jones led the Packers in rushing, Dillon led the running backs in touchdowns with 7.
Make the Defense stop the run
One of the ways both running backs can help Love is putting pressure on the defense to put an extra man or two to stop the run.
Typically defenses would put in an extra lineman, linebacker or safety near the line of scrimmage. The defense then would have a miss-match or not enough corners to match up against the wide receivers.
We typically see this when a team starts a new quarterback or has a backup come in.
Jones and Dillon can definitely create that issue. We saw some of it in 2021 when Rodgers won his 4 MVP.
Not only did defenses fear Rodgers but they knew if Rodgers wasn’t at his best, Jones and Dillon would take over.
This can certainly help Love out because it would take some of the pressure him and not have him have to make plays in the passing game.
Eat time off the clock
Another way the running game can help Love out is keeping the Packers defense off the field and consuming time.
When you keep your defense off the field and keep your offense on, you’re not letting the other team have a chance to score points. Its even harder to score points, if you are the opposing team, when the other team is take its sweet time to score points.
Basically the other team is controlling the game, which is always degrading to the opposing team.
We’ve seen the Packers do this on multiple occasions.
One good example of this was in October of 2021, when the Packers, without three of their top wide receivers, faced an Arizona Cardinals team that was undefeated at that point in the season.
Not only did the Packers dominate in the time of possession category, they were able to run the ball against Cardinals.
Both Jones and Dillon combined for 137 yards on the ground and helped the offense get into position to score.
Meanwhile the Cardinals offense struggled to score points, despite a last minute comeback attempt, the Packers were able to hold off the Cardinals and hand them their first loss of the season.
Importance of help Love out
We all know it not just one player that can make or break a team.
Yes, Aaron Rodgers was great quarterback for the Packers and he will go down as one of the top quarterbacks for the Packers.
To expect Jordan Love to be like Rodgers in his first season is a very high expectation that would be extremally difficult to do. But having good running backs like Jones and Dillon will certainly help Love.
We’ve already seen Jones and Love in the offseason work together, which shows that Jones is ready to help Love in whatever way he can.
It’s hard to predict what the offense will look like come opening day 2023 but it will most certainly not be the same Packers offense we’ve seen in years past.——————
Hau Khuong has been a Packers fan since 1996. He currently works as a video editor in Green Bay and writes for PackersTalk.com and you can follow him on twitter at @HauKhuongSports.
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