It is officially time to take Aaron Jones seriously as an MVP candidate. The 5th-round pick from UTEP is having a career season and the rest of the NFL is officially on notice.
His performance with the Green Bay Packers has not gone unnoticed. Aaron Rodgers said after the win against Carolina “Well, I know Christian (McCaffrey) is a very talented player, and he’s been mentioned in the MVP race, so maybe it’s time to start talking about Aaron Jones,”. Coming from a 2-time NFL MVP, that praise means something.
Yes, the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player Award usually goes to a quarterback, with only 7 running backs winning the award since 1990. The last three to win were Adrian Peterson in 2012, LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 and Shaun Alexander in 2005.
When Adrian Peterson won the award, he had 2,097 rushing yards with 12 touchdowns and an average of 6 yards per carry. When Tomlinson and Alexander won the awards, they both broke the record for most touchdowns in a single season, with LaDainian Tomlinson having the record at 31.
In order for any running back to win, they have to put up truly historic numbers. After ten games, Jones leads the league with 14 touchdowns, with 11 of those coming on the ground. That includes four in one game against the Dallas Cowboys and now three against the Panthers. That now puts him on pace for 17 rushing touchdowns and five touchdown catches. To go with the touchdowns, he has 589 rush yards at 4.4 yards per attempt along with 354 receiving yards.
The award generally goes to the player who has been the most dominant and meant the most to their team. Jones has been the go to in almost every game, and seemingly automatic when the Packers are in the red zone, where he has scored 11 touchdowns. In order to win, he would most likely need to lead the league in touchdowns and all purpose yards. But for all purpose yards, he is behind Dalvin Cook by almost 500.
Right now, Jones would have to beat out front runners Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson and Christian McCaffrey who are all having dominant seasons. This means Jones would have to have one of the best 6-game stretches for a running back in recent memory, which is feasible with opponents such as the Giants and Redskins. However, the Packers still face the 49ers, the Bears and the Vikings.
It may be a long-shot, but he has a shot.