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Why Davante doesn’t need to be replaced

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Like most Packers fan, I have grown accustomed to having a team led primarily by its passing game. You’d have to go back some 31 years just to find a game where our expected starting quarterback wasn’t a Hall of Famer (save for the horrors of the Brett Hundley-led 2017 Packers which I have banished to the far reaches of my memory).

But in the off-season the Pack did what most analysts deemed inconceivable. They traded Davante Adams and have spent some mid-round draft picks and free agency veteran signings to try and replace him.

Even with the ayahuasca-invigorated Rodgers balling out (in Week 2) it seems the passing game is no longer the trademark of this franchise.

As we come to an end of a game where Rodgers, recently appointed Bears co-owner, led the Pack to victory – Twitter is amassed with stats of how Watkins (3 for 93) outgained recently Raiderised Adams (2 for 12). But those same gebronies weren’t crowing last week? Or last season? Why, you may ask?

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Because Adams is pound for pound worth about four Sammy Watkins – when he’s healthy, which lets be honest he likely won’t be for the season. Bookies would give you $1.05 odds that Watkins injures himself stepping out of his car this week – I exaggerate but sue me, I like to indulge!

If you read the first two paragraphs of this article in the sarcastic tone with which I wrote it, you may think I paint a picture of a Packers team who is resting come January. The truth is this: Adams won’t be replaced by some mid-round rookies, or by veterans like Watkins, or the ever-mentioned OBJ – but the Packers do not need to replace Adams.

They have a signal caller who keeps defensive coordinators on notice that they can’t crowd the box, a Joe Barry-led defence that jumps off the page as a top-three D if they can live up to their potential and a running back duo that is just absolutely bonkers.

The last point there is what my long-winded intro to this article is all about: Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon might just be the most underrated duo in the NFL.

That is not to say they are not rated, you will find them amongst most top 5 RB lists, and Jones in particular as a top 5-7 in most RB power rankings. But save for the power couple that is Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, Showtime and Dillon are a one-two punch that can contend with and easily beat any other duo in the league.

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(Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Aaron Jones as a pure runner, is the undisputed No.1. His acceleration and speed once he gets going is hard to find. Speed is great, but what do you do with it? The kid has vision for days. He’s got so much vision Scarlett Witch is in his DMs just trying to get a piece (little MCU joke for all my fellow nerds).

Seriously though, Jones will find and carve through tiny gaps bouncing off players as needed like few others can do. If you watch the Packers games, you are bound to see three or four runs where there is no way he should have been able to gain the yardage he does.

Not enough for you? Oh yeah, he also has great hands and can go as a receiver. Not only can he, he does regularly. In fact over the past couple years you’ll find games where Jones was the leading receiver and he’s always a got a legitimate spot on the receiving stats.

But for what Jones lacks, Dillon provides. The power back who is aptly named the Quadfather was drafted in 2020 much to the disappointment of myself and many fans.

But I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again, because in Week 16, with Jamaal Williams out due to injury Dillon showed what he had under the hood: 124 rush yards and two touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans.

From that point on there was no looking back. He prominently became the No.2 back the following year and here we are in the second year of that tandem. The guy is built like a brick expletive house and he can move 2-3 defensive linemen on his own.

So speed, vision and power – I guess what I’m getting to with all this fawning over Jones and Dillon is the cheeseheads need to relax. Stop talking smack about how our receiver core can replace Adams, or how we need to send the chequebook over to some tired FA like Will Fuller.

The offence can centre around the run game – remember that Coach La Fleur is a Shanahan disciple, he was probably secretly thrilled when Adams chose to head to the desert. Time to implement that dominant run game, rely on the D to make stops and maybe this is the year they can get over the hump – to at least attend the Super Bowl!

I’m not promising that as a lock, but just saying that it’s time to accept that we are a run team, and know that that’s a perfectly fine place to be given our weapons!

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