Packers Morning Buzz: Aaron Jones will need to get more playing time
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with ESPN's Bill Barnwell writing that the Packers at some point need to give Aaron Jones more playing time, rather than frequently rotating in Jamaal Williams in part to give Jones a breather.
Barnwell writes (as part of a story on the outlook for all the NFC playoff contenders):
The drop-off in the offense when Jones isn't on the field is dramatic.
In 180 snaps with him on the field and Williams on the sideline, the Packers have averaged 0.22 EPA per play, which would make them the best offense in football on a play-by-play basis. In 127 snaps with Williams on the field and Jones sitting out, though, the Packers have actually been a net negative on offense at -0.05 EPA per play, which is the equivalent of the 2019 Giants, who rank 25th in expected points added. If one back makes you the best offense in football and the other back makes you the Giants, I would go with the first guy.
It's fair to suggest that the Packers are so impressive with Jones on the field in part because they rest him so frequently. In the games in which Williams has been healthy, Jones has played just under 55% of the offensive snaps. If the Packers were to play Jones for 80% or more of their offensive snaps, it's likely that he would be less efficient with the increased usage rate.At the same time, even some drop-off from Jones would still likely produce a more effective offense than that same offense with Williams. As much as the organization has insisted that Jones needs to split time -- a stance that existed before LaFleur was hired -- the Packers are simply a different offense with Jones as the primary back. The Packers' best chance of winning a Super Bowl is by turning the vast majority of the snaps over to Jones when things matter most. The obvious point to make that move might not be the beginning of the postseason; given that it could decide the division, I'd lean toward the Week 16 game at Minnesota.
You can read Barnwell's entire story here:
The MMQB's Albert Breer brings praise for Packers GM Brian Gutekunst (and Elgton Jenkins):
With the Packers’ bye here, this is a good place to give second-year GM Brian Gutekunst credit for the job he’s done, something the coaches there have taken notice of. It’s what he’s done with the high-end capital, of course—free-agent adds such as linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, and first-round picks CB Jaire Alexander and safety Darnell Savage. But it’s also getting guys like OL Elgton Jenkins in the second round. Jenkins’ presence was mammoth when LG Lane Taylor got hurt, and now it’s clear he’s going to have a significant role on the line going forward regardless of who’s healthy and who’s not.
You can read the rest of Breer's column here:
The Packers could move into the No. 1 position for playoff seeding with a win at San Francisco, or tumble to No. 3 with a loss:
NBC is cranking up the Packers-49ers hype machine:
Ryan Wood does a deep dive on Aaron Jones' long road to Packers stardom:
Rob Reischel ranks the Packers' 2020 free-agent class for ForbesSports:
Coach Mike Zimmer knows the Vikings have a lot of work to do:
Rams linebacker Clay Matthews twists the knife after L.A.'s beat-down of the Bears:
The Bears' kicking woes have become comical:
The Lions shouldn't allow Matthew Stafford's injury to affect their decisions about coach Matt Patricia's future, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press:
And finally ... Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams team up again:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt