Packers WR James Jones shines in Jennings’ absence : Packers Insider

Packers WR James Jones shines in Jennings’ absence

October 2, 2012 by  
Filed under News

By Lori Nickel of the Journal Sentinel

~GREEN BAY – James Jones said that last catch had to be divine intervention.

But in the locker room after the game, quarterback Aaron Rodgers showed nothing but faith in his so-called No. 3 receiver by coming over specifically to congratulate Jones for another standout performance in a game the Green Bay Packers simply had to have to avoid an unthinkable 1-3 record.

Jones caught a 12-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and then a 14-yarder in the second. The sixth-year receiver notched the second two-touchdown game of his career Sunday afternoon in a 28-27 victory against New Orleans. The other was against Chicago on Christmas Day last year.

Always a classy, stand-up guy, Jones reminded fans against the Saints that he's very important to the success of this offense.

These two-TD games might have happened more frequently in Jones’ 85-game career with Green Bay were in not for the fact he has played with Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson.

But with Jennings leaving the game once again injured, this time with a groin pull, Jones has had more opportunities. And it looks like the Packers can count on Jones going forward. When one door closes, another opens.

“Greg is one of our biggest playmakers on this team,” Jones said. “When he goes down, we’ve all got to step up; it’s not just one person. The motto never changes: Make the most of your opportunities.”

Jones had five catches in all for 56 yards but maybe none of them was more impressive than his last. After the Saints missed a field goal with about 2 minutes left in the game, Rodgers and the Packers faced a must-have third down. Tight end Jermichael Finley was Rodgers’ first read, but Rodgers said he wanted to give Jones a shot.

So he hit Jones. It should have been an incompletion, since Saints cornerback Jabari Greer was all over him. But not trusting anything about what would or would not be called by the officials, especially after what happened in Seattle last week with the replacement refs, Jones snatched the ball and held on. Greer was flagged for pass interference, but the impressive grab was all Green Bay needed to run out the clock and preserve the victory to raise its record to 2-2.

“The Lord was with me,” Jones said. “I saw it thrown to one side, I just stuck my one hand down in there and it hit my glove, kind of rolled up my elbow and I was able to bring it in to my body. “That’s a difficult catch. That’s probably a once-out-of-10-er right there. If I had to do it again it would probably bounce somewhere.”

On Monday at Seattle, Jones also had five catches for 55 yards.

“James has been very consistent this year and he’s clearly off to his most consistent year in his time here,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “It tells you how the receiving corps works. It’s the only group I’ve ever had and it’s been like that my entire time here. Every receiver plays every position. They’re interchangeable.”

Still, Jones was already a little worried about facing position coach Edgar Bennett this week.

“E.B. is probably going to be on me for my blocking,” Jones said.

And yet Jones said it was Bennett who has harped on him to see the ball in and maintain possession.

“He’s constantly on us on the sideline,” Jones said. “Focus, focus, focus, focus, focus. . . . When you go in the game and he’s on the sideline yelling, ‘Focus!’ Play hungry. That’s all you can do out there.”

As long as Rodgers and Jones have played together, it seems impossible for their chemistry to be better than it is right now. Jones has taken a lot of public criticism for untimely drops, but none from his quarterback. Between their workweek communication in the film room and their non-verbal communication during the game, it’s clear Rodgers is comfortable counting on No. 89.

“I hope he never lost confidence in me,” Jones said. “Aaron throws to the open guy. Me and him have been able to connect on big plays so far this season and I hope we can continue to do that.”

With 16 catches for 191 yards and three touchdowns, Jones is on pace to have his best season. If Jennings continues to be hampered by injuries, the Packers will need everything Jones can offer.

Full story here

Help Us! Comment about this Packer Article

This is a community of fanatical Packer fans. Please tell us what you think about this post....