GREEN BAY – AJ Dillon wasn't intending to become the first player in Packers history to jump directly over the end-zone wall on a Lambeau Leap, but it nearly worked out that way.
On the first of his two fourth-quarter touchdowns during Sunday's 17-0 win over Seattle, Dillon and his 41-inch vertical nearly overshot the top of the barrier in the south end zone.
Thankfully, Packers fans stabilized the second-year running back enough for him to get his knees under him and avoid faceplanting in the first row of seats.
"I really wanted to redeem myself from last year, and so I just kind of put everything I had into that vertical there," Dillon said. "Luckily, we had a bunch of fans to support me, but I was about to take a nosedive into the stands."
It's understandable Dillon might have gotten a little too excited after a fast-and-furious final 15 minutes against Seattle, in which the 6-foot, 247-pound running back registered 78 of his 128 total yards and both of Green Bay's touchdowns.
However, that was neutralized after a Jamal Adams interception in the Seahawks' end zone that was followed by Jones injuring his knee on the first play of the Packers' next offensive possession, leaving Dillon as the only active running back with any in-game offensive experience.
"When he first exited the game, he looked at me and said, 'Get the job done, finish it off,'" Dillon recounted. "That's like my big brother on this team, I love him to death, so for him to believe in me, that trust, was great."
Dillon responded accordingly. He not only scored twice during the final quarter, but also took an underneath pass from Rodgers and extended it into a career-long 50-yard catch, which set up his second TD after the two-minute warning.
The work isn't over for Dillon. If Jones has to miss any time, the onus would be on Dillon and first-year running back Patrick Taylor to carry the load for a backfield that already lost rookie seventh-round pick Kylin Hill to a season-ending knee injury.
Dillon is built for it, though. He carried the ball 845 times in three seasons at Boston College and has only continued to improve during his time in Green Bay.
"Very proud of him. He's a great kid," Rodgers said. "He's a guy that's become very reliable, and his catch and broken tackles and run down the sidelines to get us out of a backed-up situation, into their side of the field to put the game away and go up three scores, I mean, that was the play of the game, for sure. He probably had the three plays of the game with the touchdown runs and that catch and run."
Locking them down: The Packers came into Sunday's game with the tall task of shutting down the Seahawks' one-two receiving punch of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Suffice to say, Green Bay's defense passed with flying colors.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson connected just five times on 16 targets with Metcalf and Lockett, who combined for 49 receiving yards. What's more, 16 of those came with Seattle facing fourth-and-26 on the last play of the game.
"We knew the offense ran through them – well, it runs through Russell but through the pass game, and those are the dynamic guys," cornerback Kevin King said. "Running after those guys, they do all kinds of stuff. It was a team effort. It took the whole defense to contain those guys and to contain Russ."
Lambeau Field hosted a Week 10 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021.
Metcalf wound up getting disqualified from the game late in the fourth quarter after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
King and safety Adrian Amos both intercepted Wilson in Green Bay's end zone, which preserved the defense's first shutout since a 22-0 win over Buffalo on Sept. 30, 2018.
Despite playing most of the season without All-Pros Za'Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander, the Packers still entered Sunday ranked fifth in total defense and likely will climb even higher this week after limiting the Seahawks to just 208 total yards (133 passing, 75 rushing).
When asked if Sunday as another statement in the Packers' case to be considered the best defense in the NFL, King said that's not even where his mind is at right now.
"We're just focused on being the best defense that the Green Bay Packers can be," King said. "That's trying to be better than what we played last week and the week before that. If we do that every week, then I'm not too worried about what other defenses are doing.
"If a team is playing better than we're playing, that's fine. We're still getting dubs."
Green Bay continues to err on the side of caution with Bakhtiari, who was listed as doubtful for Sunday after being activated off the physically unable to perform list Wednesday.
"A player of David's level, we want him out there on the field," Jenkins said. "The quicker we can get him back, the better for our offense. Each and every week, we're just waiting on him to get better, get healthy and more confident to get out there."