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Game notes: Aaron Jones' run to history paces Packers' offense

“Primetime” Preston strikes again; Romeo Doubs feels great in return

Packers running back Aaron Jones
Packers running back Aaron Jones

GREEN BAY – For six years, Aaron Jones has been chasing John Brockington.

Twenty years before Jones was born, Brockington won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and made three Pro Bowl appearances during a seven-year stint with the Packers. His 5,024 rushing yards trailed only Ahman Green and Jim Taylor in team history.

Well, and now Jones.

The Packers' most recent Pro Bowl running back surpassed Brockington during the first quarter of Green Bay's 24-12 win over the Los Angeles Rams Monday night. It was the start of a big night for Jones, who finished with 90 rushing yards on 17 carries and 36 receiving yards and a touchdown on four catches.

"I remember when I used to go in the running back room, they have like a list of the running backs, and he was up there," said Jones, who now has 5,100 career rushing yards. "It's amazing to pass him in such a great group of backs."

On Monday night, Jones and AJ Dillon were the backbone of a balanced offensive performance by the Packers. Prior to Dillon leaving in the second half to be evaluated for a concussion, the two running backs helped propel the Packers to 138 total rushing yards against a disciplined LA defense that's allowing the fourth-fewest rushing yards (101.9 yards per game) to opposing teams this season.

The attention the Rams paid to the ground game helped create opportunities for Aaron Rodgers, Christian Watson and the rest of Green Bay's receiving corps to get the play-action game going. The Packers' ability to sustain drives led to three scoring drives of at least 11 plays.

When paired with Green Bay's three 13-play scoring drives in a 28-19 win over Chicago earlier this month, it's the first time the Packers have had back-to-back games with at least three scoring drives of 11 plays or more in the same season since 2008. Predictably, Green Bay dominated time of possession (37:19-22:41).

"I definitely think we were excited about the execution," said Watson, who had four catches for 46 yards and drew two defensive pass interference penalties. "I think everybody on the team felt the energy throughout the week and felt the energy today. We just have to keep that momentum going."

In addition to his offensive production, Watson also threw the lead block on Jones' 7-yard touchdown in the third quarter that put Green Bay ahead 24-6 at the time. With five receiving touchdowns on the season, Jones became the first running back since Dorsey Levens (1996-97) to have back-to-back seasons with at least five receiving scores.

Dillon also contributed in a big way, finding the end zone twice and finishing with 71 total yards on 15 touches. Perhaps most impressively, Green Bay was able to run out the last 8 minutes, 51 seconds on the clock behind Jones and third-string running back Patrick Taylor, who had four carries for 15 yards.

Green Bay faced just one third down on the drive. While Rodgers' pass to Watson fell incomplete, Jones slid through for a 3-yard gain on fourth-and-2 to seal the win.

"That's what you want to do," Jones said. "Take the ball and control it and make it so your defense doesn't have to come back on the field. We try to end every game, if we can, in victory formation. So to end it that way was special."

Primetime Preston: Something about primetime football agrees with Preston Smith.

With two sacks against the Rams, the Packers' ninth-year linebacker has now recorded 10 sacks in his last nine primetime games. Smith said afterward he hadn't been aware of such a streak – or the fact all his two-sack performances occur after dropping the opposing quarterback on the first defensive series.

"I'd seen somebody call me 'Primetime Preston.' I thought it was pretty cool," said Smith with a laugh. "I don't keep up with nothing like that but that's a cool fun fact to know. (Outside linebackers coach Jason Rebrovich) told me a fun fact, too, I didn't know that anytime I get a sack on the first drive of a game, it's always a multi-sack game. I just find out new stuff every day. That's what they told me when I was young – you learn new things every day. I learned new things today."

Welcome back, Romeo: Rookie Romeo Doubs caught a game-high five passes for 55 yards in his first game in more than a month. His first three catches played a role in scoring drives, while his 23-yarder in the fourth quarter was part of the 8:51 series to end the game.

"It was really exciting," said Doubs, who missed four games after injuring his ankle vs. Detroit in Week 9. "The energy was high all week. I'm ready to focus on the next opponent. We got a great team coming up this week. It feels good."

See scenes from the Monday night matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field on Dec. 19, 2022.