In frigid temperatures, the Green Bay Packers were able to wrap up the top seed in the NFC with a week to spare.
A big reason they were able to trounce the Minnesota Vikings 37-10 was the combined powers of running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. The one-two punch they provide has been displayed multiple times throughout the course of the season and seeing them run the ball successfully in January is a good omen for the playoffs.
What is perhaps even more exciting is the wrinkle head coach Matt LaFleur added Sunday night. He had Jones and Dillon on the field at the same time and for seven snaps after only sharing the field 18 times in the first 15 games combined.
It offered a tease for what could be coming in the postseason but it also was successful as the seven plays gained over seven yards per play.
One play had Jones carrying the ball to his left with Dillon as his lead blocker, a neat concept that we will definitely see again come playoff time.
This whole concept is called pony personnel where two tailbacks are in the backfield instead of one with a fullback. It’s a look Green Bay used sparingly this year as mentioned above but increased use against Minnesota shows LaFleur is evolving his playbook as the season progresses, something most highly successful offense coaches do.
Now he can go back to the lab for two weeks and cook up some more fun concepts before the Packers start their run to the Super Bowl with home field advantage already secured.
Think about what life is like for a defense in this situation. Do you worry about Jones or the snow plow of Dillon? Key on them both? Neat, now watch Aaron Rodgers hit Davante Adams for six. This is such a fun and tantalizing wrinkle.
The fan base seems to be divided on this but LaFleur is going to play some starters for at least part of the game on Sunday in Detroit. While there is an injury risk, the offense has struggled early in games and three weeks between games could compound those issues. I’d say play them a quarter and be done.
It has been remarkable how the offensive line hasn’t missed a beat with all the injuries this year with Kelly being the latest to step up to the plate. Thankfully he entered the lineup experienced as he was a 16 game starter in Tennessee a year ago.
Quarterback in the NFL is the toughest job in all of sports yet Rodgers continuously makes it look easy and the fact Adams remains in absolute awe says it all.
Just what we need. Our smart home devices rising up to take over like Skynet.