In 2021, the Green Bay Packers running back duo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon achieved the rare feat of each eclipsing 1,000 all-purpose yards. Last season, Dillon fell just 24 yards short of 1,000 all-purpose yards while Jones had a career-high 1,121 rushing yards to go with 395 receiving yards (for a grand total of 1,516 all-purpose yards, the second-best total of his career).
Amazingly, the pair put up very respectable yards despite the running game playing second fiddle to Aaron Rodgers’ hero ball. With Jordan Love now under center, it stands to reason that both will see their opportunities increase.
Perhaps his is why Bleacher Report ranks the duo as the best running back team in the NFL.
Green Bay Packers Running Backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon Are the NFL’s Top Duo
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report ranked the top seven rushing duos in the NFL. Jones and Dillon beat out some pretty impressive tandems. From seventh to second, the other duos were:
- Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery (Detroit Lions)
- Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet (Seattle Seahawks)
- Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams (New Orleans Saints)
- Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier (Atlanta Falcons)
- Nick Chubb and Jerome Ford (Cleveland Browns)
- Christian McCaffery and Elijah Mitchell (San Francisco 49ers)
As one can see, there are some pretty impressive names on that list, including former Packers running back Jamaal Williams. Of course, Williams set the Lions’ franchise record with 17 rushing touchdowns last season.
Of Jones and Dillons as the NFL’s top duo, Ballentine wrote:
The Green Bay Packers might have some questions with Jordan Love and the quarterback position going into 2023. There are no questions about the backfield they’ll have to support their young quarterback.
Even with Aaron Rodgers struggling to return to MVP form and the Packers lacking firepower in their receiving corps, the duo of Jones and Dillon were still constant threats to the defense.
Jones (1,516) and Dillon (976) combined for 2,492 total yards from scrimmage last season. Jones’ receiving ability was particularly important. He snagged 59 of his 72 targets for 395 yards and five touchdowns.
Dillon’s hard-charging running style gives them punch in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He had seven touchdowns on the ground.
As the Packers look to transition their offense away from Rodgers it’s going to be even more important that they can lean on their two backs. The fact that they have two well-rounded backs who could be the featured player on other teams gives them a leg up on transitioning the offense.
The two veterans are going to be crucial for the Packers contending in the NFC North this season.
Ballentine is correct in his assessment that Jones and Dillon will be vital to the Packers’ success. If the offensive line stays healthy, the two will have a proven top-tier line to run behind.
Of course, the success of the running game will do wonders for Jordan Love and the young pass catchers. If teams need to focus on Jones and Dillon, it will open the door for big passing plays to the wide receivers and rookie tight ends.