Green Bay Packers third-year running back Aaron Jones had a breakout performance last week when he ran for 107 yards, scored four touchdowns and caught seven passes for 75 yards in a 34-24 win at Dallas.
It’s the job of the Detroit Lions’ defensive players to study film of their opponents. But you can’t blame NFL players if they sometimes marvel a little at the excellence they’re watching.
“This guy, he’s definitely improved a lot since last year,” Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis said Friday. “And just watching him in every game that he’s played, he’s very physical and finishing all his runs.
“Honestly, as a fan of the game, I enjoy watching him play. He plays the game the right way, in my opinion.”
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Lions cornerback Darius Slay lit up when he discussed the 5-foot-9 Jones, a quick and shifty runner with good hands.
“Man, I’m telling you, for him to be so little and so short, on film he is running so hard,” Slay said. “But credit to them and their O-line because at one point in time that was their — not their strength, is running the ball. And he kind of filled that need for them and he doing a great job at it so we sure got our eyes on him for sure.”
Jones, a fifth-round 2017 draft pick from Texas-El Paso, wasn’t a bad player in two previous seasons. In fact, he even led the NFL with a 5.5-yard average last season, when he rushed for 728 yards and eight touchdowns.
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But he’s looked noticeably better, both as a runner and as a good scheme fit under new coach Matt LaFleur, who has installed more stretch-run plays.
“I think it’s a little bit of both and him getting more comfortable in what they’re doing,” Davis said. “It seems like he knows where he needs to go whenever the ball’s being run. He gets the ball and it seems he has a good feel for it and he goes down there and makes plays.”
The question facing the Lions: How do they stop one of the NFL’s hottest running backs, who was named NFC offensive player of the week, on Monday night at Lambeau Field?
“I think just defensively we need to be sharp,” Davis said. “We need to be on everything, on our p’sand q’s and make sure we’re in our gaps and fitting where we need to fit at and just make sure we’re all 11 getting to the ball.”
Contact Carlos Monarrez at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.
Published at Sat, 12 Oct 2019 04:18:07 +0000