The Green Bay Packers offense has had a bit of a strange year. They came out of the gates firing, scoring 38 points in a Week One road victory over the Chicago Bears. Their new starting quarterback, Jordan Love had a big day, including 245 yards and three touchdowns.
However, since then, they’ve sputtered. Green Bay hasn’t scored more than 20 points since Week Two. For all the hate the Steelers offense has gotten, they’ve at least reached that number twice since then. It seems like it could be an offense ripe for the picking for this electric Steelers defense.
However, Mike Tomlin isn’t taking them lightly. He looked at that Week One game and saw the potential this offense has. And one name in particular stood out to him, Aaron Jones. He talked about Jones and the way he helps Jordan Love succeed as well on The Mike Tomlin Show today.
“I would imagine as a young quarterback, the presence and the availability and the effectiveness of his runner is significant,” Tomlin noted. “And I thought what we saw last week was the reemergence of Aaron Jones. He’s missed a significant amount of time with a hamstringing injury and even when available, he’s been slowed. He played 40-plus snaps last week… And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Aaron Jones is a dangerous guy in the passing game as well. He’s the type of guy that you can throw a short pass to and end up with a 60-yard touchdown.”
The only game Jones has been truly healthy in is the Week One bout against the Bears. He racked up 127 total yards and two touchdowns in that one including a 41 yard receiving touchdown as Tomlin alluded to. Before last week, in large part due to him being banged up, he hadn’t broken 60 scrimmage yards or found the end zone when he’s been able to play. Last week he looked more like himself, tallying 99 scrimmage yards and finally finding the end zone.
Jones has been one of the most consistent runners in the league over the past few years. He’s 6th in the NFL over the previous four seasons with 4,108 rushing yards while averaging 5.0 yards per carry. The only back with more yards who averaged 5 yards a carry or more is Nick Chubb.
For Jordan Love, Jones coming back in full health could be the spark he needs to get his audition year back on track. The Steelers will look to limit Jones, take away Love’s safety blanket, and force the young quarterback to make things happen on his own.