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Thursday Cheese Curds: Aaron Jones’ emergence has Packers back in contention

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Green Bay is knocking on the door of another Super Bowl and it’s again thanks to someone named Aaron. No, not that one.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a surprising amount of internal debate within Packer Nation over the team’s season that resulted in a 13-3 record and a first round bye. Is Aaron Rodgers still good? Is the defense consistent enough? Are the Packers a terrible 13-3 team?

These are just a few topics all over social media but there is one topic that everyone can agree on, at least.

Aaron Jones is a bona fide stud.

Under new head coach Matt LaFleur, Jones has been a revelation and also the player the offense has run through more often than not. When you consider who the quarterback is, such a seismic shift seems almost impossible but that is exactly what has happened in Green Bay.

The biggest knock against Jones has been his height. Yet this season he has shown his 5 foot 9 inch frame is more than capable of ripping opposing defenses to shreds while also being a legitimate weapon for Rodgers in the passing game. Jones worked out this offseason in anticipation for a heavier workload and that training clearly paid off.

Jones finished the regular season tied for the league lead with 19 touchdowns, one shy of a team record set by Ahman Green and this is just the first year Jones has been in LaFleur’s offense. The coaching staff will continue to expand his role in the passing game and it seems like the sky’s the limit.

The Green Bay offense will still run through someone named Aaron. It just won’t be the one we’ve seen it go through over the past ten years.

Now for today’s curds.

The Evolution of Aaron Jones and the Emergence of a Packers Superstar—The Ringer

Packers fans who begged former coach Mike McCarthy to feed Jones more might say they saw this kind of season coming, but Jones’ family, friends and teammates knew along he could be a special player and that faith was rewarded this year.

Roaming Za’Darius Smith, surging Packers front wreaking havoc in ‘Z Package’ (subscription required)—PackersNews.com

Jones’ emergence plus the addition of Za’Darius Smith were two of the biggest propellants of the Packers back to the top of the NFC North. Now they’re prepared to shoot the Packers to the top of the entire league and into immortality. The Z package, meaning moving Smith around, will be on full display as Green Bay makes a run for a trip to Miami.

Message from Packers’ veterans: Playoffs are different, but don’t play the game differently—Packers.com

The Packers are thin on playoff experience thanks to the roster turnover the past two seasons but the veterans on the team are trying to keep those new to postseason play focused on one game at a time.

Jerry Jones calls hiring of Mike McCarthy ‘fortuitous’—NFL.com

McCarthy was introduced to the Dallas media yesterday and the laughs flowed throughout the entire affair. McCarthy gave the best answer possible when questioned about that famous Dez Bryant non-catch.

Police search for man who broke into Taco Bell, made a meal and took a nap—ABC News

Hey when you want Nachos Bell Grande, you want them now and to hell with what the law says.