Aaron Jones: Mike McCarthy ignoring rookie phenom

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Aaron Jones /
GREEN BAY, WI – NOVEMBER 06: Cornelius Washington
GREEN BAY, WI – NOVEMBER 06: Cornelius Washington /

Aaron Jones showed us earlier in the season why he was one of Ted Thompson‘s best draft picks this past spring. As of late, Mike McCarthy seems to be ignoring the rookie running back phenom.

Aaron Jones brought life back to the team’s offensive backfield when he came onto the field against Chicago in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears (13 carries for 49 yards, 3.8-yard per carry) and then really amped up the excitement level in Weeks 5 and 7 with huge games against the Dallas Cowboys (19 carries, 125 yards, 6.6 yards per carry) and New Orleans Saints (17 carries, 131 yards, 7.7 yards per carry).

Against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6, the Packers lost their leader in Aaron Rodgers and fell behind, thus forcing McCarthy to throw the ball more, which limited Jones to 13 carries for 41 yards).

But when the Detroit Lions came into Lambeau Field this past Monday night, Jones seemed an afterthought in Mike McCarthy’s game planning and execution.

He carried the ball only five times for 12 yards.

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Going in many thought it was important for the Packers to control the ground game and to keep the Detroit offense off the field.

Instead the opposite occurred, much to the chagrin of every Packers fan on the planet.

Why McCarthy would get away from the run game as quickly as he did in this home game against a division rival is beyond me, but it happened.

In what was by far the worst game called by McCarthy this season, the Packers ran 17 times for 78 yards as a team … far from what was needed to control the clock and keep Matthew Stafford off the field.

But to get back to Jones.

He has been by far the most productive back for the Packers this season.

Even with his no-show against the Lions, he is still the Packers’ leading rusher.

In seven games, he’s rushed 67 times for 358 yards, a 5.3-yard average. He’s also scored three times.

Compare that with Ty Montgomery, the oft-injured wanna-be running back who was switched from wide receiver to running back last year and was deemed the starter until he once again was injured, clearing the way for Jones.

Montgomery has carried the ball 65 times for 219 yards and two touchdowns. His longest run this year has been all of 11 yards.

ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 08: Aaron Jones /

For a wide receiver-turned running back, another curious statistic is McCarthy’s refusal to utilize his talent out of the backfield as receivers.

Montgomery has 21 catches in 29 attempts for 159 yards. Those are decent stats, but give the fact the Packers’ quarterbacks have been under extreme pressure this season because of the state of the offensive line, one might think McCarthy would dial up the running back’s numbers a little more.

Jones has been targeted even less – 15 times – of which he’s caught seven balls for 16 yards.

We all know McCarthy is a technician for putting together personnel packages, but we also sometimes wonder if he outcoaches himself and doesn’t adjust enough during game time situations to make his packages more effective.

Either way, we plead with Mike McCarthy not to forget about Aaron Jones and the potential and production he brings to this team.

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We all saw what happened against New Orleans and Detroit when he didn’t trust Brett Hundley. But we also saw what happened when he didn’t trust Aaron Jones and the Packers running game.

There has got to be a balance. Striking that balance isn’t easy.

But when you’ve got a player like Jones on the field or sitting on the bench, and you don’t look to him to produce, there’s something wrong with that mindset.

The following are Aaron Jones’s 2017 statistics, courtesy of profootballreference.com: