Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers: Two-headed monster in the backfield

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The Green Bay Packers have one of the best running back combos in the NFL. Now, they’ve had one of the greatest season’s by a duo in franchise history.

When AJ Dillon was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with their 2020 second round pick, it only infuriated fans peeved about the Jordan Love selection even more. But, no matter where you stand on Jordan Love, you can’t overlook what AJ Dillon has meant to Green Bay this season.

Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon became the first running back duo for the Green Bay Packers since 1980 to both eclipse 1,000 yards from scrimmage in the same season. Both are vital components to this offense in running and passing situations. They have been so special to watch this season. If the Green Bay Packers want to make it to the Super Bowl, they will need both to be effective in the playoffs.

This coming Sunday, Dillon and Jones will face off against former teammate Jamaal Williams. Jamaal held a special place in the heart of fans, and the Game On Wisconsin family. He loved Green Bay, and it loved him back. While we miss him deeply, AJ Dillon has stepped right in and filled the void that was created when Williams left.

The writing was on the wall that either Jones or Williams were not going to be brought back for 2021, especially after the AJ Dillon selection in the draft. And the Green Bay Packers are a better rushing attack right now. That is no disrespect to the player Jamaal is, but a giant compliment to what AJ Dillon brings to the table.

According to Pro Football Focus, AJ Dillon has gained 2 or more yards after contact on 77% of his carries, which leads the league. That is a Derrick Henry-less list due to his injury earlier in the year, but is still impressive nonetheless.

Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are also very talented pass catchers. According to the Green Bay Packers, the pair have combined for 85 receptions this season. Aaron Jones has 52 on the year, while AJ Dillon has 33. Those are good for 2nd and 4th best on the team.

Both are also averaging over 4 yards per carry. Jones is nearly at 5 (4.7) while Dillon is at 4.3 YPC. It also shouldn’t go unmentioned that this is with a patchwork offensive line for a large portion of the season. Watch out for this come playoff time. They could potentially be getting some players back, such as Billy Turner and David Bakhtiari. Matt LaFleur mentioned that Bakhtiari would return to practice this week, and maybe even see some game time action against the Lions.

Looking ahead to the playoffs, the Green Bay Packers are going to need an effective running game between Dillon and Jones. Their game against the Vikings was encouraging to see both see a lot of success on the ground. If both are firing on all cylinders, it makes the life of Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams that much easier.

Brian Gutekunst had a plan all along when drafting AJ Dillon in 2020, and so far it has worked out nearly perfectly. The Green Bay Packers have another two headed monster in their backfield immediately one year following Jamaal Williams’ departure from the team. Jones and Dillon have been special to watch this season, and have been integral to the success of the offense that has seen a lot of injuries along the line.

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