Packers Morning Buzz: Aaron Jones ranks as third-toughest NFL running back to tackle

Stu Courtney
Packers News
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Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at

We'll start with Green Bay's Aaron Jones being rated as the third-toughest NFL running back to tackle, according to ESPN's Next Gen Stats, which measure "yards gained after close-in" (defined as yards gained by a ball carrier after the first defender gets within one yard of him):

3. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

4.5 yards gained after close-in per carry, 2017-18

No one had a better yards per carry number in 2018 than Jones' 5.5 pace. He had only 133 carries, but was efficient, picking up 728 yards and eight touchdowns. He was second in the NFL in yards gained per carry on runs up the middle (5.8).

According NFL Next Gen Stats, Jones had a successful run 54.9% of the time (running plays resulting in an offensive successful play based on the yards to go by down). But unlike Derrick Henry, he won mostly before first contact, averaging 3.7 in that area (fourth best in the NFL). It's a sign that Jones likely gets a good deal of help from his offensive line, too. No matter how he did it, Jones was stuffed just 15% of the time, per NFL Next Gen Stats.

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) stiff arms a tackler on a run against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, December 9, 2018 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

The only two runners ranked ahead of Jones were Derrick Henry of the Titans and Saquon Barkley of the Giants. Asked if he had a go-to move to avoid tackles, Jones told ESPN's Rob Demovsky: 

"It depends on the position I'm in. I like to use the stiff arm. Or just a little head-and-shoulders wiggle to get past you. Those are my two favorites."

You can read more here:

Injuries at tight end could create enhanced opportunities for Robert Tonyan, writes Tom Silverstein:

Tom also lists five things to watch in Thursday night's exhibition finale:

General manager Brian Gutekunst makes another roster move, trading outside linebacker Reggie Gilbert to the Titans:

Packers quarterbacks dress up as "Happy Gilmore" characters for team luncheon:

The Packers finish the season with road assignments against NFC North rivals Minnesota and Detroit:

Will the Packers make the playoffs?'s panelists aren't seeing it:

Rob Reischel's research shows that the Packers historically have gotten off to slow starts under first-year head coaches:

A mic'd-up Raiders coach Jon Gruden talks tough with the Packers' Matt LaFleur regarding the Winnipeg field problem:

You can read more about Gruden, the Packers and the field farce here:

Tom Oates makes the case for keeping veteran kicker Mason Crosby:

ESPN ranks just about everything you can think of NFL-wise, and in his listing of the top 10 uniforms, Matt Bowen puts the Packers at No. 4:

4. Green Bay Packers' home: Just think about Paul Hornung, Reggie White and Brett Favre in those green jerseys. I remember putting that uni on for the first time in the 2001 season, and it feels like you are a part of football royalty.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler ranks the best NFL traditions, and you probably can guess what's No. 1:

1. Lambeau Leap, Green Bay Packers: Beautiful in its simplicity, the leap into the outstretched arms of Packers fans might be the game's best touchdown celebration, something other players and even fans dream of doing.

You can read up on all the rankings here:

Davante Adams is inclined to disagree with Stephen A. Smith's wide receiver rankings:

But Adams gets fantasy football love from ESPN's Field Yates:

And finally:

Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt

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