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Aaron Jones ends 2018 as Packers’ all-time leader in yards per carry

Interestingly, spots two through five all belong to quarterbacks.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Say this for Aaron Jones: he’s consistent.

In 2017, Jones burst onto the scene as a rookie, establishing himself as an explosive runner in his first season. The fifth-round draft pick out of Texas-El Paso had a nice game in relief of Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams in week four against the Bears, running 13 times for 49 yards and a touchdown, but it was a three-game stretch from week 5 to week 7 that defined his rookie year, wherein he had two games of 125 rushing yards or more.

Despite giving way to Williams with an injury over the second half of that season, Jones finished the year with 448 rushing yards on 81 carries, an average of 5.53 yards per carry.

In 2018, Jones effectively matched that average, with 728 rushing yards on 133 carries. He did so in essentially 11 games, missing the first two contests due to suspension and sitting out most of week 15 in Chicago with a knee injury. Now that he has been placed on injured reserve, we know Jones’ final 2018 numbers, which have resulted in a 5.47 average, putting him at 5.50 for his career.

A look through the Packers’ record books finds that this is the largest per-carry average by any qualifying player in the team’s history, setting the cutoff at a minimum of 100 rushing attempts. In fact, no Packer with a higher yards per carry than Jones even had 65 carries for the Packers — the next-highest carry count above Jones belongs to halfback Lew Carpenter, who averaged 5.6 when he went 64-359 from 1959 to 1963.

Interestingly, the next four players down from Jones on this list are all quarterbacks, who rank as follows:

  • Tobin Rote: 419-2205-5.3 (1950-1956)
  • Bart Starr: 247-1308-5.3 (1956-1971)
  • Aaron Rodgers: 563-2907-5.2 (2005-present)
  • Don Majkowski: 199-1037-5.2 (1987-1992)

One needs to drop all the way down to Najeh Davenport in sixth place to find another running back on this list; he averaged 4.9 yards per carry (217-1068) in his four years with the Packers, while Ty Montgomery is next at 4.8 (177-849). Running Back Gerry Ellis, who played in the 1980s, is next at 4.6 (836-3826) before we finally get to the legendary careers of Ahman Green (1851-8322) and Jim Taylor (1811-8207) at 4.5 yards per carry apiece.

Packers fans should hope that Jones can maintain this blistering pace in his third season and stay atop this leaderboard. That would be especially helpful, considering his fellow running back and friend Jamaal Williams is also consistent but averages just 3.7 yards per carry for his career.