Aaron Jones lives up to big contract with four TDs in Packers win vs. Lions

GREEN BAY, Wis. — It’s a good thing the Green Bay Packers bucked tradition and gave Aaron Jones the kind of money many thought they’d be hesitant to deliver to a running back in free agency last offseason.

He’s the best thing the Packers have going for them right now.

And he’s the reason the Packers aren’t 0-2 for the first time since 2006 — two years before Aaron Rodgers became their starting quarterback.

On a night that for a while looked a lot like the Packers’ season-opening loss to the New Orleans Saints , what with all the wide-open Detroit Lions receivers and absence of a pass rush, Jones found the end zone four times — three as a pass catcher and once as a rusher — to comeback from a halftime deficit to pull away for 35-17 victory at Lambeau Field.

The fifth-year running back turned in another one of his dynamic showings, making his lack of involvement in Week 1 all the more problematic. It wasn’t quite the 239-yard day Jones against the Lions in Week 2 here last season, but his 115 total yards from scrimmage (67 rushing and 48 passing on 23 touches) was exactly what the Packers needed after failing to Jones involved against the Saints. Follow the NFL all season long

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More NFL coverage » It came right down the free-agency wire in March before the Packers brought Jones back on a four-year, $48 million deal that included a $13 million signing bonus — the largest contract for a running back in Packers history.

They did it because of his importance to coach Matt LaFleur’s offense, although you wouldn’t have known that by the opener with Jones carrying five times for nine yards and catching two passes for 13 yards against the Saints.

Under LaFleur, Jones had two straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He rushed for 1,084 yards and led the NFL with 19 touchdowns in 2019. Including the playoffs that season, he scored 23 times, the most for a season in team history. He backed that up with 1,104 rushing yards despite missing two games with a calf injury this past season and made his first Pro Bowl.

Monday was Jones’ second career four-touchdown game, but he became the first Packers’ running back with three touchdown catches since 1942 (Andy Uram against the Chicago Cardinals). No NFL running back had caught three touchdown passes in a game since Danny Woodhead in 2015. The most receiving touchdowns Aaron Jones ever had in a single season was 3 (in 2019).

To be sure, Rodgers finally got going, too.
Just like he had done immediately following the previous two losses by 25-plus points, Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, including one he feathered to tight end Robert Tonyan on a 22-yard post route to give the Packers a 21-17 lead […]

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