Upon Further Review: Jones shines in Packers’ snowy win over Panthers

There’s snow place like home.

Is there a more beautiful sight than heavy flurries during a game at Lambeau Field?

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Green Bay’s play wasn’t quite as aesthetically pleasing, but it was good that the Packers escaped with a 24-16 win over Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers.

McCaffrey gashed the Packers’ defense for 141 total yards and a touchdown, but Green Bay held the MVP candidate out of the end zone on a goal-line stand as time expired to preserve its eighth victory.

Led by touchdown machine Aaron Jones, the Packers offense didn’t cough the ball up once and averaged 6.7 yards per play, their second-best mark of 2019. From Jones to Jamaal Williams to Davante Adams, everyone got involved on offense.

Most importantly, the Packers proved last week’s ugly loss to the Los Angeles Chargers was a fluke, and they’ll enter the bye week in first place in the crowded NFC North.

Here’s a recap of Sunday’s game (Story | Photos):

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Jones broke a four-game rushing touchdown drought (he’s scored three receiving touchdowns over his last four) in impressive fashion, busting into the end zone three times — on runs of five, one and 13 yards. Jones is now tied with McCaffrey for the league lead with 14 total touchdowns. He’s also the first Packers player with two games of three or more touchdowns (the other game coming against Dallas) since Jim Taylor in 1962. Jones needs seven more touchdowns to pass Ahman Green for the franchise record. Green tallied 20 (15 rushing, five receiving) in 2003.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME

Adams returned to the Packers last week, but he was really back Sunday. Adams hauled in seven of 10 targets for 118 yards, an average of 16.9 yards per reception. His best catch was a 37-yard connection with Rodgers in the second quarter, while Adams later caught one for 38 yards. On the season, Adams has tallied 7-plus receptions in four of six games. This air attack changes completely when Adams is on the field.

 

THAT MOMENT

Head coach Matt LaFleur’s decision to go for six points with two seconds remaining in the first half instead of settling for a chip-shot field goal. You’ve got to love that call. It didn’t work out for Green Bay, though, as Williams was stuffed way behind the line of scrimmage. Luckily, that decision didn’t cost the Packers, so we’ll focus on a different game-altering play.

With Green Bay hanging on to a 21-10 lead midway through the third quarter, Carolina was rolling down the field. The Panthers started the drive at their own 8-yard line but found themselves facing a second-and-10 from the Packers’ 11. Kyle Allen escaped pressure and tried to get the ball to receiver Jarius Wright in the end zone, but safety Adrian Amos was there to tip it and 36-year-old Tramon Williams hauled it in for the interception.

THIS NUMBER

0 — For the 22nd time in his 15-year NFL career (and the second time this season), Rodgers didn’t throw a touchdown pass. The Packers are 9-13 when Rodgers passes for no scores but had lost eight of the last 10 occurrences entering this year. However, Green Bay has won both of Rodgers’ touchdown-less games (vs. Carolina and at Dallas) in 2019, which is indicative of the Packers actually having a strong, reliable running game.

THEY SAID IT

“We all know that Christian is a very talented player, and he’s been mentioned in the MVP race. So maybe it’s time to start talking about Aaron Jones.” — quarterback Aaron Rodgers

“Yeah, you know whenever you’re playing a talented player (McCaffrey) like that, he’s going to get his yards. The whole key is try to contain him as best you can because he’s one of the elite players in this league. I thought our guys, there were moments where we were giving up some big plays. There was a lot of bend within our defense, but I thought we stiffened up again in the red zone and we made some plays.” — head coach Matt LaFleur

WHAT’S NEXT

Green Bay heads into its bye week with a one-game lead in the division. The Packers return to the field Nov. 24 for a 3:25 p.m. kickoff against San Francisco, the league’s last remaining unbeaten team. The 49ers (8-0) host rival Seattle on Monday night, a game that will be their biggest test of the year. San Francisco leads the NFL by yielding a mere 138.1 passing yards per game and just 15 passing plays of 20-plus yards. Look for Green Bay to heavily rely on Williams and Jones yet again.