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Key to the game: 'Hunter's mentality' powers AJ Dillon, Packers' offense

Fourth-year running back’s dirty yards set tempo for Green Bay’s offense

Packers RB AJ Dillon
Packers RB AJ Dillon

GREEN BAY – AJ Dillon's outfit was all laid out and ready for gameday thanks to his wife and resident stylist, Gabrielle.

And it was a good one, too.

But after hearing Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur speak to the team about being the ones on the attack in Sunday's game with the Kansas City Chiefs, AJ Dillon decided to call a late audible.

Instead, the fourth-year running back picked up an orange-and-black camo jacket that he wore to Lambeau Field for what promised to be a rough-and-tough matchup with the reigning Super Bowl champions.

"My wife does all the styling, and she had a sick outfit, would've been really cool," Dillon said. "But I was like, 'You know what? I'm buying in.' She's like, 'All right,' but I think I pulled it off."

In more ways than one.

For four quarters, Dillon continuously lowered his shoulder pads and pushed forward on his way to 87 total yards on 19 touches, production that paced Green Bay's offense during an emphatic 27-19 win over Kansas City at Lambeau Field.

While Green Bay was without Aaron Jones (knee) for the second straight week, the usual offensive suspects were in play for Green Bay.

Jordan Love completed 25 of 36 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Christian Watson caught two of those TDs, finishing with a career-high seven catches for 71 yards.

Fellow second-year receiver Romeo Doubs added a couple critical catches of his own, including a 33-yard reception on fourth-and-1 during a TD-producing drive in the third quarter.

To hear Doubs tell it, however, everything Green Bay accomplished started with Dillon wearing on the Kansas City defensive front from the jump.

The 6-foot, 247-pound running back carried the ball seven times for 30 yards on a Packers' opening drive that lasted almost eight minutes and ended in a 1-yard TD pass to Ben Sims.

"I know I might have fought and got some dirty yards, but dirty yards equal AJ Dillon," Doubs said. "You see the tape. I'm glad I can have somebody like that.

"I gotta salute him because there were times where maybe Jordan put (Dillon) in position, just using his athletic ability … (and) he set us up for explosives down the field. It's just complementary football."

After rushing nine times for 39 yards in the first half, Dillon caught a 14-yard pass to start the third quarter and spark the Packers' third TD-producing drive.

He also was at his best in the fourth quarter when Green Bay was looking to put Kansas City away. Dillon carried the ball seven times, gaining 33 yards and forcing the Chiefs to start burning their timeouts after back-to-back conversions.

Following Dillon's lead, the Packers finished with 129 rushing yards on 25 carries (5.2 yards per carry).

Check out photos from the Week 13 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023.