The final stat line wasn’t pretty. Against the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones carried the football 13 times for 21 yards and one touchdown. Jones did catch six passes on seven targets, picking up 37 yards through the air, but it was an unpleasant box score nonetheless.
However, a look at some advanced statistics shows that Jones actually had an impressive day from an individual perspective and that he was the victim of poor blocking and a great Eagles run defense.
First, let’s examine Jones’ advanced rushing stats. According to Pro Football Reference, Jones picked up a total of 25 rushing yards after contact. That means that he was hit behind the line of scrimmage on average over his 13 carries, and if he had gone down at contact on every carry he would have rushed for a loss of four yards overall. Furthermore, Jones received credit for a pair of broken tackles on running plays, matching his total from the first three games combined.
Unfortunately, Jones only picked up one first down on the ground. That play was the touchdown he scored, a three-yard plunge that featured one of the broken tackles.
In the passing game, Jones was even more elusive. Jones broke four tackles on pass receptions, and did a ton of damage after the catch. In fact, Jones picked up 49 yards after the catch point in this game, illustrating that he was serving primarily as a dump-off option for Aaron Rodgers. Indeed, his yards before the catch total was minus-12, illustrating that he almost exclusively received the ball at or behind the line of scrimmage with these short passes functioning in place of a running game late in the contest.
In these late stages, Jones’ ability to run after the catch and make tacklers miss in the open field was a key component to the Packers’ offense functioning on Thursday. Although only two of his six receptions resulted in first downs, every one of his six catches — which all came in the fourth quarter — resulted in a yardage gain, and he averaged more than eight yards after the catch per reception.
It won’t go down as a stellar day on the stat sheet, and the touchdown was the only salvation for fantasy football players with Jones on their rosters. But given the issues that the Packers had in giving Jones room to work on the ground, he made the best that he could rushing and found a way to be productive late in the game as a receiver.
If Jamaal Williams is indeed out for some time with his concussion, Jones should be just fine when facing less-stingy run defenses than that of the Eagles.