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Cheese Curds, 11/15: Packers’ MVS and Aaron Jones still can’t get national attention

Despite big breakouts over the past several weeks, these two young playmakers still aren’t being recognized for their contributions by the broader NFL media.

Green Bay Packers v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Early on in the 2017 NFL season, you could certainly be forgiven if you were unaware of Aaron Jones. Hell, even writers who cover the NFL were still learning about him to start 2018, despite his absurd 5.5 yards per carry average in limited action a year ago. The same goes for Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who was an athletic but raw fifth-round draft pick this April.

But there’s no excuse for not knowing those names now. Jones leads NFL running backs in practically every per-carry measure of rushing effectiveness. MVS has established himself as the Packers’ #2 wide receiver, he’s averaging 17.5 yards per reception, and he has 399 receiving yards in the past six games.

Somehow, however, these two young, explosive playmakers continue to fly under the national radar. Jones is starting to get a little attention, especially in fantasy football circles, but not enough. And MVS still is not a household name, even though he’s on pace for a similar season to the rookie year that Steelers wideout Juju Smith-Schuster put up a year ago. In fact, MVS’ current pace in those six games since taking over the WR2 job would get him to 867 yards by the end of the year, a number that would be the highest rookie total for a third-day draft pick in years — eclipsing even Stefon Diggs’ 720-yard season in 2015.

Packers fans know these names. Hopefully national writers will take notice soon as well.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling ready to square off against longtime friend |
The Packers rookie receiver and the Griffin twins, cornerback Shaquill and linebacker Shaquem, grew up together with MVS and Shaquill each considering the other one of their closest friends. Now there's a good chance that the two will go head-to-head on several plays tonight, renewing a fun rivalry that has been in place even through their college days.

Packers fixed their secondary, but Aaron Rodgers is paying the price -
The analysis of the Packers’ secondary is excellent here, but saying that it has come at the expense of the team’s offense is a big miss. A lack of playmakers isn’t the biggest issue facing Rodgers and company -- Aaron Jones is a feature back today and MVS is in the midst of a breakout rookie year -- it’s Rodgers’ own play and a stagnant scheme that are causing the problems.

Four things to watch for in Packers-Seahawks on ‘TNF’ -
In response to the above article, if you aren’t treating Aaron Jones like a game-changing, explosive running back who can carry an offense, you’re not looking at the numbers.

Packers and Seahawks on similar path since 2014 NFC Championship | Packers Wire
After that game, both teams have struggled to maintain the level of success that they attained in the early 2010s. The Packers made one NFC Championship Game since, after the 2016 season, but were completely outmatched by the Falcons -- who had beaten Seattle a week earlier.

Packers' Davante Adams best in red zone and just about everywhere else - ESPN
Remember back in the offseason, when everyone expected Jimmy Graham to be the Packers' new superweapon in the red zone? Instead it's Adams, who has scored eight of his nine touchdowns from inside the 20. That's two more than any other player in the NFL, and Aaron Rodgers credits Adams' ability to get just a little bit of separation as the most critical ability near the goal line.

Hits and misses in Brian Gutekunst's first free-agent moves |
Did the Packers shell out too much money for Graham? It certainly looks that way, given his numbers so far. But his lower-profile signings -- Bashaud Breeland in particular, who wasn't addressed in this piece -- make the offseason look much more successful.

Police: Hot sauce used as weapon in store holdup | WHP
I consider myself a bit of a hot sauce aficionado, so my biggest question is what kind of sauce was used in this robbery.