Through four games, Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones still hasn't run against an eight-man box, according to Next Gen Stats.
Defenses bring an extra defender (often a safety) into the "box," or the area near the line of scrimmage and within the tackle box, to help stop the run game.
The help just isn't coming against Jones. How rare is this? Jones and Darrell Henderson of the Los Angeles Rams are the only running backs who still haven't run against a box of eight or more players this season.
Jones has rushed 48 times for 327 yards, producing a staggering average of 6.8 yards per carry. He has 12 carries of 10 or more yards, so a quarter of his carries this season would have moved the chains on a typical 1st-and-10. Only Nick Chubb (15) has more. And only Chubb (eight) and Saquon Barkley (seven) have more runs of 15 yards or more than Jones, who has six.
In terms of yards per rush, Jones only trails De'Andre Swift (8.6) among qualifying running backs.
A few things likely factor into this incredible stat for Jones against eight-man boxes. One, teams don't want to get beat by Aaron Rodgers and are willing to sacrifice reinforcement in the box for two-deep safeties and more help in coverage. Two, Rodgers is probably getting the Packers out of bad run plays with checks or run alerts (run-pass options).
Either way, the quarterback is having a huge impact. And Jones is taking full advantage.
At some point, opponents have to make a tough choice: Commit more resources to taking away Jones as a runner and risk the big play via Rodgers and the passing game, or continue playing light in the box and get gashed over and over by one of the NFL's best big-play backs.
Defenses have used an 8-man box against backup AJ Dillon on roughly 11 percent of carries, which is likely the result of the Packers using him late in games when running against a loaded box is preferable.
Story originally appeared on Packers Wire