Packers rookie RB A.J. Dillon adds power dimension to dominant Green Bay offense

A.J. Dillon blasted onto the scene Sunday night on a snowy Lambeau Field turf, demolishing the Tennessee Titans in the Green Bay Packers' 40-14 blowout win.

As usual, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams dominated, but we're used to seeing those two light up opponents. What we hadn't seen up to this point was the Packers' second-round rookie blast threw defenses and roll over tacklers like a bulldozer squishing loose gravel.

Entering Sunday night, Dillon had played in nine games as a rookie, compiled 24 rushing attempts for 115 yards at 4.79 yards per attempt. Against Tennessee, Dillon gobbled up 21 totes for 124 yards (5.9 YPA) and scored two TDs.

Dillon missed five games this season due to COVID-19 and admitted it was a "hard process" battling back into football shape. On Sunday, it all coalesced for the rookie rusher.

"That was a major setback for me personally," Dillon said, via the team's official website. "Obviously, I was down for a little bit but I had so much support, from my teammates, my coaches, the staff here, the community out here, my family and friends back home. I feel like everybody keeping me in great spirits kind of brought me back to it."

With Jamaal Williams out with a quad injury, Dillon took on the No. 2 role. When Aaron Jones briefly left to get medical attention, Dillon grabbed the reins and drove the Packers through the Titans defense.

"A.J. did exactly what I've been waiting for this whole time," Adams said, per PackersNews. "Obviously I've seen what he can do in practice, but going out and -- he's had a couple flashes -- but to have a solid game like that, to outrush Derrick Henry when he didn't even start, I mean, just a great performance. 

"A.J. is a monster. So I think you're going to see a lot more of that going forward."

At 6-foot, 247 pounds, Dillon is a bowling ball of fire blasting through helpless defensive pins. If the Packers clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC next week, forcing the playoffs to run through Lambeau, the rookie could play a big role leaning on defenses with his size and power in the frigid Green Bay temperatures.

When the Packers made Dillon a second-round pick, many eyebrows were raised, given the playmakers already in the backfield. The Packers brass likely envisioned what the world saw Sunday night. Coach Matt LaFleur even told reporters he called Dillon's number even more, but RBs coach Ben Sirmans said the rookie needed a breather a couple of times.

Dillon noted that he can "kind of sneak up on people" because they don't expect a back with his size to have that sort of speed.

After the Titans made a game of it, closing the score to 19-14 in the third quarter, the Packers ended the bout with two Dillon TDs to turn a struggle into a blowout.

"It was a surprise," Rodgers said of Dillon's performance. "Not that we didn't think he could do this, but we just hadn't seen it. I remember I liked his attitude, I liked you started seeing his swag come out, the confidence. It's fun to see for a back, and he was bringing it. He was finishing runs the way that he really hasn't up until this point."

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