Now it's starting to look brilliant. Ty Montgomery took part in practice Wednesday, but his status for this week's show is up in the air with those broken ribs. Rookie Aaron Jones exploded for 125 yards rushing and one touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys.
It took until the fifth game of the season, but something - or someone - finally stuck.
Minnesota has won two of the last three games in the rivalry, although the Packers won the most recent game 38-25 on Christmas Eve at Lambeau Field. Montgomery had the majority of carries when he was healthy, but that could change with the emergence of Jones.
Including the playoffs this will be McCarthy's 200th career game as head coach.
Jones' hard, instinctive running had a dramatic impact on the offense Sunday.
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Others hadn't planned to attend but thought it too important to miss. He said their officers are well trained and prepared for anything.
There is no simple solution to slowing down a player of Rodgers caliber. I just had to make a good throw. "He was making guys miss and breaking tackles". I'm going to go to my left.' He does that. The Packers do an excellent job improvising their routes to exploit gaps in coverage once Rodgers scramble, and leads to opportunities for deep shots. He was good on the runs, cuts. "Every time you go up against this guy it's a pain in the rear end because of how hard he is to defend".
He earned it this time not only because he led the Packers 75 yards in 62 seconds for the winning touchdown - a pass to the right side of the end zone to WR Davante Adams - but also because he led the Packers back from a 21-12 halftime deficit, continually baffling the Dallas defense along the way. "When you (install) some good scheme and Mike dials it up at the right time, it just comes down to execution". Jones looked like a veteran back, weaving through holes, making good cuts and running through tackles easily.
They'll need that talent after going without a running attack capable of worrying opponents since the closing stages of the 2015 season.
What's even more remarkable in Rodgers' 19-of-29 passing stats is that he once again did it behind a makeshift offensive line. Lacy gained 103 in a victory over Detroit and Montgomery had 162 in a victory over Chicago, both last season. If not, it may be another long night for the Green Bay Packers in Minnesota. In eight of the 28 games, the top running back had fewer than 35 yards. That's not even close to a productive running game. Jones on the other hand, is best in that situation. They've got two fine defensive ends, so what do you do? This time, his 18-yard scramble was a key play on the decisive drive. It's just really trying to get them to grow and progress because they're young players.
On the play below, you can see the fake handoff draw in the safety. "So we're focusing on the concepts and the things they're doing very well". That's normal for rookies.
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