StaTuesday: Packers’ Jones and the rare 4 rushing touchdown club
Which is more impressive: That Aaron Jones put himself in rarefied Green Bay Packers territory with his four rushing touchdowns against Dallas on Sunday or that he accomplished the feat with over three minutes remaining in the third quarter?
Alas, Jones couldn’t get another touchdown, leaving Paul Hornung as the only Green Bay player with five touchdowns in a game.
Nevertheless, Jones did something rarely seen in Packers history. Jones became just the fourth Green Bay player to rush for four touchdowns in a game and the first since 2000. Hall of Famer Jim Taylor did it three times from 1961-62.
|Jim Taylor||10/15/1961||Browns||W, 49-17||21||158|
|Jim Taylor||11/4/1962||Bears||W, 38-7||25||124|
|Jim Taylor||11/11/1962||Eagles||W, 49-0||25||141|
|Terdell Middleton||10/15/1978||Seahawks||W, 45-28||23||121|
|Dorsey Levens||1/2/2000||Cardinals||W, 49-24||24||146|
|Aaron Jones||10/6/2019||Cowboys||W, 34-24||19||107|
Levens’ performance, by the way, came a week after he gained just four yards on 10 carries. It was also Ray Rhodes’ last game as Packers head coach.
Accounting for total touchdowns, Jones had the 11th such instance in a Packers game since 1950 (when stats are available via pro-football-reference.com).
As mentioned above, Hornung is the only Packer with five touchdowns in a game (he had three rushing and two receiving against the Baltimore Colts in a 42-27 win on Dec. 12, 1965). Hornung also had a four-TD game against the Colts on Oct. 8, 1961 – and he also kicked six extra points and a field goal.
The only other Packers to have four touchdowns in a game are Donny Anderson (1967) and Sterling Sharpe (1993 and ’94). Sharpe had four touchdown catches against Dallas on Nov. 24, 1994 – but the Packers lost, the only defeat among the 11 four TD games.
The Cowboys have had a player account for four touchdowns against them just four times in franchise history – and the Packers have two of them. Jones is the only one with four rushing TDs vs. Dallas.
Jones’ performance Sunday was the 60th time since 1950 that an NFL player had four rushing touchdowns in a game (62 if you included the playoffs; New England’s LaGarrette Blount did it 2014 vs. Indianapolis and San Francisco’s Ricky Watters had vs. the Giants in 1994). Tennessee’s Derrick Henry was the last to do it – last season. But Jones’ was just the fifth time it’s occurred this decade, perhaps no surprise given the emphasis of the passing game. It happened 21 times from 2000-09 (including one game in which two players did it), starting with Levens. So, the Packers have a nice bookend to four rushing TD games.
FOUR RUSHING TD GAMES SINCE 2000
|Dorsey Levens||1/2/2000||Packers||Cardinals||W, 49-24||24||146|
|Mike Anderson||12/3/2000||Broncos||Saints||W, 38-23||37||251|
|Marshall Faulk||12/10/2000||Rams||Vikings||W, 40-29||25||135|
|Priest Holmes||9/8/2002||Chiefs||Browns||W, 40-39||22||122|
|Shaun Alexander||9/29/2002||Seahawks||Vikings||W, 48-23||24||139|
|Clinton Portis*||12/7/2003||Broncos||Chiefs||W, 45-27||22||218|
|Priest Holmes||10/24/2004||Chiefs||Falcons||W, 56-10||22||139|
|Derrick Blaylock||10/24/2004||Chiefs||Falcons||W, 56-10||19||90|
|Willis McGahee||11/28/2004||Bills||Seahawks||W, 39-9||28||116|
|T.J. Duckett||12/12/2004||Falcons||Raiders||W, 35-10||12||65|
|Shaun Alexander||9/25/2005||Seahawks||Cardinals||W, 37-12||22||140|
|Shaun Alexander||10/16/2005||Seahawks||Texans||W, 42-10||22||141|
|LaDainian Tomlinson||10/15/2006||Chargers||49ers||W, 48-19||21||71|
|LaDainian Tomlinson||11/12/2006||Chargers||Bengals||W, 49-41||22||104|
|Joseph Addai||11/26/2006||Colts||Eagles||W, 45-21||24||171|
|LaDainian Tomlinson||10/14/2007||Chargers||Raiders||W, 28-14||24||198|
|Jamal Lewis||11/4/2007||Browns||Seahawks||W, 33-30||20||37|
|Ronnie Brown||9/21/2008||Dolphins||Patriots||W, 38-13||17||113|
|Michael Turner||11/23/2008||Falcons||Panthers||W, 45-28||24||117|
|DeAngelo Williams||11/30/2008||Panthers||Packers||W, 35-31||21||72|
|DeAngelo Williams||12/21/2008||Panthers||Giants||L, 34-28||24||108|
|Doug Martin||11/4/2012||Buccaneers||Raiders||W, 42-32||25||251|
|Marshawn Lynch||11/9/2014||Seahawks||Giants||W, 38-17||21||140|
|Jonas Gray||11/16/2014||Patriots||Colts||W, 42-20||37||201|
|Derrick Henry||12/6/2018||Titans||Jaguars||W, 30-9||17||238|
|Aaron Jones||10/6/2019||Packers||Cowboys||W, 34-24||19||107|
* — Portis is the only one listed who had five rushing touchdowns
This decade won’t have the fewest four rushing touchdown games as the 1980s featured only three – by Eric Dickerson (1988), Chuck Muncie (1981) and Curt Warner (1988).
Can Jones now join even rarer company? Only eight players have multiple four rushing TD games in their career: Shaun Alexander (3), Jim Brown (5), Rick Casares (2), Priest Holmes (2), Emmitt Smith (2), Taylor (3), LaDainian Tomlinson (3) and DeAngelo Williams (2).