Maybe it was the yardage. Maybe it was the four touchdowns. Maybe it was the glut of broken tackles. Or maybe it was the fact that he was the key catalyst in a huge victory over a fellow NFC contender.
Whatever the reasons (plural) and however the decision-making process takes place, Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones has a new honor to put up in his trophy case. That is the award for NFC Offensive Player of the Week, as the league announced Jones as the winner of the award for his performance against the Dallas Cowboys in week 5.
The Packers won that game 34-24 thanks in large part to Jones’ career day. He went off for 107 yards on 19 carries and another 75 yards on seven receptions, and he had something in the range of 14 to 17 broken or missed tackles forced on the day. But it was surely the four touchdowns that he scored — accounting for every one of the team’s trips to the end zone in the game — that put him over the top.
Jones now has a whopping eight touchdowns this season, and he has scored in every contest except week one’s victory over the Chicago Bears.
This is the second player of the week honor for the Packers this season, as Jones follows outside linebacker Preston Smith. He earned Defensive Player of the Week for his three-sack game against the Denver Broncos in week three.
Additionally, this is the first OPOW award for a Packers player in two years, and the last one came in similar circumstances. Aaron Rodgers was the last Packer to win the award, doing so after the Packers’ 35-31 victory over the Cowboys in week five of the 2017 season. That game also saw an impressive performance from Jones — in fact, it was his first 100-yard game as a pro — but Rodgers took home the honors thanks to a 19-for-29 day with 221 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner with just 11 seconds left on the clock.
There were other legitimate contenders for this week’s award. Perhaps the other best candidate was Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, who went off for 176 rushing yards, 61 receiving yards, and three touchdowns in a 34-27 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Russell Wilson could have earned some consideration as well, with a near-perfect passer rating of 151.8 and four touchdowns in the Seahawks’ 30-29 win over the Rams.
In any case, Jones is the man for this week, and he will surely be counted on once again in week six as the Packers host the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.