Milestone Watch: Aaron Jones Running to History

Aaron Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Za'Darius Smith and more ahead of Week 17
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Jones is running toward some impressive numbers.

The Green Bay Packers’ third-year running back needs 16 rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the season. Moreover, with 19 total touchdowns, he’s one shy of Ahman Green’s franchise record of 20 set in 2003.

“Twenty touchdowns is big at any level,” Jones said after scoring two touchdowns in Monday night’s win against Minnesota. “You ask me, you don’t see too many people putting up 20 in high school, college, wherever, so to do it at this level would be big time. I feel like it would put me up there with an elite group of players. Just keep scoring the ball and see where I’m at after next week.”

Jones enters the week leading the NFL with 16 rushing touchdowns (two ahead of Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey) and 19 total touchdowns (one ahead of McCaffrey). The 16 rushing touchdowns are the second-most in franchise history behind Hall of Famer Jim Taylor’s 19 during his MVP season of 1962. Meanwhile, he’s on the threshold of becoming Green Bay’s first 1,000-yard back since Eddie Lacy in 2014.

Here are some more milestones ahead of Sunday’s regular-season finale at Detroit:

- With 116 yards against Minnesota, receiver Davante Adams has caught 76 passes for 904 yards. That leaves him needing only 96 yards against Detroit to post his second 1,000-yard season. He’ll be challenged by the Lions’ top cornerback, Pro Bowler Darius Slay, in that quest.

- With 3.5 sacks against Minnesota, Za’Darius Smith leads the team with 13.5 sacks. That is tied for the fifth-most by a Packers defender since sacks became an official stat in 1982. Four other players had 13.5 sacks, including Clay Matthews (2010) and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (2001, 2004). Tim Harris’ franchise record of 19.5 sacks in 1989 might be out of Smith’s grasp, but No. 2 is a possibility. Standing in his way: Ezra Johnson (14.5 in 1983), Aaron Kampman (15.5 in 2006) and Reggie White (16.0 in 1998).

- Smith leads the NFL with 35 quarterback hits, one more than Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt. The league has tracked that stat since 2006. Smith has smashed the team’s previous best mark, the 30 hits applied by Kampman in 2006.

- Smith leads the team with 17 tackles for losses. Since the league started tracking that stat in 1999, that’s the second-most by a Packers defender behind only Matthews’ 18 in 2010.

- Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith (12) are the first Packers tandem with 12-plus sacks since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

- Jaire Alexander has broken up 16 passes, which is the most by a Packers defender since Sam Shields’ 16 in 2013. The last player with more than 16 was Casey Hayward’s 20 in 2012.

- Kevin King has five interceptions, the most by a Packers cornerback since Hayward had six in 2012.

- Green Bay has allowed 15 or fewer points in four consecutive games, a first in a single season since 2002. The Packers haven’t had a five-game, in-season streak since 1992.

- Blake Martinez has a career-high 148 tackles, four behind Seattle’s Bobby Wagner for the league lead. The NFL has kept tackle counts since 1994. Martinez has three of Green Bay’s four 140-tackle seasons.

- With seven consecutive games of less than 250 passing yards, Aaron Rodgers is going to need to throw for 321 yards to extend his franchise record for 4,000-yard seasons to eight. If Rodgers gets to 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns (he has 24) while avoiding an interception (he has three), he’d turn in just the second season of 4,000 yards, 25-plus touchdowns and three-or-fewer interceptions in NFL history. The other? Rodgers, last year.

Hear from Rodgers on his season in the video associated with this story.