Aaron Rodgers has carried the Green Bay Packers to victory after victory after victory over the years, but when they absolutely needed a win to keep their season alive on Sunday, they rode the legs of Aaron Jones.
Jones needed only 15 carries to rush for a career-high 145 yards and two touchdowns, and the Packers blew out the visiting Miami Dolphins in the second half to win 31-12 at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay took a quick 14-3 lead but was clinging to a 14-12 edge early in the third quarter before finally seizing control.
On third-and-2, Rodgers hit tight end Marcedes Lewis for a gain of 30, the veteran tight end’s second catch of the year. That set the stage for Jones. After a gain of 12 yards to the 10, he exploded through a big hole and into the end zone for a 21-12 lead at 9:33 of the third.
Moments later, cornerback Bashaud Breeland intercepted Brock Osweiler and returned it to the Miami 12. After a penalty, Rodgers fired a 25-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams to make it 28-12.
With that, the Packers moved to 4-4-1 ahead of a trip to Seattle for a Thursday night game, and then a visit to Minnesota for a key NFC North matchup.
Miami (5-5) lost for the fifth time in seven games after a 3-0 start. The bye comes at a perfect time for the Dolphins, who were without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and three starting offensive linemen, including tackles Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James.
Frank Gore rushed for 90 yards for the Dolphins. Osweiler threw for 213 yards, with seven catches for 72 yards by Danny Amendola. Jason Sanders accounted for all the scoring with four field goals.
A quick one-two punch by Jones gave the Packers a 14-3 lead. On the opening drive, Jones had 54 yards on four touches, with those big plays setting up Rodgers’ 7-yard touchdown pass to Adams.
After Sanders booted a field goal, Jones blew through a huge hole up the middle for a gain of 67. Two plays later, he plowed in from the 2.
Green Bay led 14-9 at halftime. A key moment came early in the third quarter, when Brandon Bolden blocked JK Scott’s punt. The Dolphins were set up at Green Bay’s 28 but couldn’t do anything with it. Sanders’ fourth field goal made it 14-12.
Rodgers was 19-of-28 passing for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Green Bay ran for 195 yards.
—Field Level Media