2018 Packers Grades: Running Backs – Aaron Jones Breakout SZN
Grading the 2018 Packers isn’t a fun thing per say. There are a few bright spots, but mostly, it’s a mess from the season. We started on offense. Yesterday, we talked about Aaron Rodgers, and today, we talk about another Aaron, Aaron Jones and the running backs on this team. It’s crazy to think that Green Bay had two running backs all season carrying the bulk of the carries. In years past, we’ve seen anywhere from three to six running backs worthy of grade. This year, it’s only two players, and one could be the next start of this team.
Aaron Jones – GRADE: B+
All aboard the Aaron Jones hype train. He is a beast. This is the best running back in Green Bay in a very long time. Jones rushed for 728 yards in 12 games played with missing two due to injury and two for suspension. The Packers young running back led the NFL in yards per carry at 5.5. He showed some skills as a pass-catcher in the backfield with 26 catches. The breakout game for him was against Miami where Jones rushed 145 yards and two touchdowns.
Pro Football Focus gives him the grade as the 12th best running back in the NFL. That feels fair to me. Jones did not get the opportunity to showcase himself as the premier running back of this team. Jones will hopefully get that chance with the next coach. If he does not, there might be issues bigger than what’s going on the field here with Jones. With the right coach and one that wants to give him all of the chances, the chances for a huge year next season are definitely there.
Jamaal Williams – GRADE: C-
I hate to use Jamaal Williams as one of the scapegoats of the season, but he definitely is one to blame without question. Williams did not have an encouraging second season. He rushed for 464 yards on a paltry 3.8 average. Williams had 7.6 carries per game which seems ridiculous given how good Jones was last year but then you remember, Mike McCarthy didn’t start riding Jones until Los Angeles. Williams was still the guy early on this season. It’s not his fault, he is just okay. Williams is a hard and powerful runner that I think with the right running scheme could be good. McCarthy’s zone rushing attack did not work for him.
Ty Montgomery – GRADE: F
No longer a Packer, but Ty Montgomery also played a large part in hurting the season early on by getting more snaps than he should have before being dealt to Baltimore. Montgomery did not show any signs of improvement, or that he’s worth more than five play a game.
We will all hope it’s Jones’s time next season.