Packers' winning play over Bucs set up by Jamaal Williams' powerful performance

Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on

Published in Football

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It was supposed to be a short breather, just enough time for Jamaal Williams to catch his breath after taking part in about 50 plays and touching the ball on almost half of them.

The Green Bay Packers rookie running back signaled to the sideline that he needed a break.

"I was trying to get just one play and come back in," Williams said.

No need.

Williams' impact on the Packers' 26-20 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lambeau Field on Sunday was going to carry over into the next play and make him the hero of this unlikely victory even if he didn't score the touchdown that won it.

Fellow rookie Aaron Jones, who owned the No. 1 running back position before tearing his medial collateral ligament against Chicago three weeks ago, came in for just his second play of the game.


With 6 minutes, 8 seconds left in the 10-minute extra period, Jones took the handoff from quarterback Brett Hundley, saw his path up the middle cut off and bounced the play to the left. Before anyone knew it, Jones was diving into the end zone to lift the Packers to 6-6 and keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

"As soon as I saw Aaron do that thing, and pop out, I'm like, 'I'm good, he gone. Touchdown.' " Williams said.

The fact Jones could bounce the play outside and have only one defender with any hope of bringing him down was a tribute to Williams' 21 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown in the previous 63 minutes, 52 seconds.

Williams had repeatedly pounded the ball between the tackles and the Buccaneers had no choice but to start committing hard to the run.


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