The Green Bay Packers have been searching for a franchise running back since the departure of Ahman Green way back in 2009. Since then, the Packers have had bright moments in running backs such as Ryan Grant and Eddie Lacy but no one has been able to stick around and contribute for more than a few years. That’s why Packer fans should be excited for the young explosive duo of Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones.
Week 1 rushing stats:
Jamaal Williams: 15Car, 47Yds, 3.1Avg, and 0TD
Aaron Rodgers: 1Car, 15Yds
Ty Montgomery: 2Car, 7yds, 3.5Avg, and 0TD
Maybe it is because the Bears have a stellar run defense with the addition of Khalil Mack or the Packers offensive line has gotten noticeably worse over the years, but with an aging hall of fame quarterback entering his later years the run game needs to improve and take some of the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers back. Once he returned after halftime, the Packers wanted to limit Rodgers drop back numbers but simply couldn’t because they were down 17-0 and the best way to put points up is to throw it to your all-star wide outs.
Jamaal Williams handled the bulk of the carries with 15 followed by Montgomery who came in second with only seven. Neither of the two could seem to bust one deep or be that effective in the passing game. I would say the panic level for the Packers running backs should be very low. The Bears made arguable the best move of the off-season acquiring Khalil Mack (the Packers should have put together a better trade package for Mack) who went all pro at TWO positions. Mack has the ability to demand respect from opposing offenses and change everything to tailor around Mack’s game. Also, the Packers were without last seasons star Aaron Jones because of a two game marijuana related suspension. It has to be harder for defensive coordinators to plan against a speed back (Jones) and a power/receiving back (Williams).
Unfortunately, Jones is suspended for one contest, which just so happens to be against the Packers NFC north rival the Minnesota Vikings whose ferocious defense isn’t nice to opposing quarterbacks. With Rodgers a little banged up, the running game looking forward must be effective and not have Aaron Rodgers carry this team the whole season.
Once Aaron Jones comes back, the Packers will have a lot more depth and most likely a more solid run game than they did week 1 strictly because of the versatility all three running backs can offer.
Without Aaron Jones in the lineup, look for Ty Montgomery to get extra carries and receiving looks out of the backfield. Of course Williams will get his touches but the Packers will most likely be run heavy the first half with Aaron Rodgers playing on an unstable leg. The Minnesota defense is fierce at almost every single position making this a scary matchup. Aaron will have to get surgical against Mike Zimmers defense and if that can’t happen or the running game never gets going, it could be a long Sunday in Green Bay.
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