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Cheese Curds, 6/30: What to expect from Packers’ backfield of Jones & Dillon

Aaron Jones is a known commodity in Matt LaFleur’s offense, but what can AJ Dillon do with a heavier workload?

Syndication: PackersNews Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Green Bay Packers look poised to have one of the best offenses in the NFL in 2021 once again, assuming that Aaron Rodgers returns (which is admittedly not a safe assumption at this point). One of the reasons for that is the team’s rushing attack, which was one of just six in the NFL to generate positive value overall compared to a league-average offensive play, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.

One of the most important reasons for that success is Aaron Jones. Jones’ rushes ranked him fifth among qualifying running backs with a 20.3% DVOA, while his yards per attempt also ranked fifth at 5.5. But while Jamaal Williams — now a Detroit Lion — recorded a +2.8% DVOA, his replacement, AJ Dillon, was in Jones territory at +21.6%, albeit on fewer carries.

On June 1st, we examined the reasons why the Packers’ running game should benefit from Dillon receiving the RB2 carries over Williams, and this is another indication of the same. But just how good can the Jones/Dillon tandem be this season?

In order to surpass the best tandem in team history, the pair would need to average 144 rushing yards per game, an extremely lofty goal. By contrast, Jones and Williams barely cracked 100 combined yards in the Packers’ 16 games last year, though each player did miss two contests with injuries.

Still, the potential is there for these two talented runners to form one of the best tandems in the NFL in 2021, even if they don’t necessarily approach the statistical marks for the best pair in team history. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best backfields in team history in today’s curds.

Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon and Best Rushing Tandems - Sports Illustrated
Dillon said recently that he thinks he and Jones can form the best running 1-2 punch in the NFL this season. But what other backfield pairings have been the most prolific in team history? Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport hold the team record for most rushing yards combined from two runners in a season with 2,303 back in 2003.

How it happened: Paul Hornung’s 33 points | Packers.com
Hornung played in plenty of exceptional backfields as well, sharing carries with Jim Taylor during the 1960s. But Hornung also was a kicker and, against the Colts in 1961, he scored four touchdowns to go with a field goal and six PATs for a team-record 33 points in a single game.

Two former Packers make list of NFL’s best centers | Packers Wire
JC Tretter and Corey Linsley were two of the top three centers on this list from Doug Farrar. Hopefully the Packers' ability to scout centers continues as Josh Myers appears set to start from day one.

NFL will not hold supplemental draft for second straight year | NFL.com
With college football players all getting an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unlikely that there would be any players seeking to enter a supplemental draft anyhow.

Wyoming man calls to ask why he wasn't arrested, is arrested | trib.com
Well, he got what he was asking for, so he's got that going for him.