Why They Lost: Green Bay Falls Short On “Favre Night”

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Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Underperforming Adams

The receivers have been a constant source of underperformance during the offense’s struggles this year. Nobody has been more emblematic of all those problems than Davante Adams.

Nov 15, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) cannot catch a pass while defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs (28) in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Adams has had  a truly underwhelming-at-best season, doing little to alleviate the problems befalling the team at-large. He missed basically four games due to an early ankle injury, but since his return after the bye week there hasn’t been much of anything positive added.

He had one catch in that Denver blowout. He was targeted 21 times against Carolina, but caught only 10 of them for a measly 79 yards. He was overshadowed against Minnesota by James Jones and Randall Cobb (even though Cobb had an awful game, he did grab a touchdown).

Against Chicago, he was highly targeted again (team-leading 11) but only pulled in two catches for a pathetic 14 yards. He was also at fault on multiple potentially game-changing points in the game. It was his lackluster route-running that (at least in part) caused Aaron Rodgers’ interception, and it was his early drop that ruined a potential 47-yard catch-and-run TD that could have helped the cause early. He also went for a pass that wasn’t meant for him (the final one), badly failing at another catch while causing an incompletion to end Green Bay’s hopes in the process.

On the night he had three drops, part of his ugly season total of seven (per Pro Football Focus). For some in-team context, Cobb has the same amount of drops but a ton more targets and catches to go with those. Also, be sure to recognize that drops are pretty much categorized as blatant; it usually does not include instances where a defender gets his hands in there (think that second-to-last pass play at the end of the game to James Jones).

The biggest reason I am focusing on Adams as the main part of this problem with the receivers this year is exemplified by two areas:

  • His prorated statistics. Here’s his stats so far in 2015: 63 targets, 32 catches, 322 yards, 0 TDs. If we prorate his stats across the rest of the season, this is what he will have produced by the end of this season: 102 targets, 52 catches, 523 yards, 0 TDs.
  • Aaron Rodgers’ statistics targeting Adams vs others in the past three games (DET, @ MIN, CHI). Towards Adams: 15/35, 129 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; towards everybody else: 58/103, 618 yards, 6 TD, 0 INT.

So not only has Adams done an abysmal job of contributing to games statistically, but he’s been by far the least productive piece of the passing game at least recently, if not across the whole season.

It is unfortunate after showing potential at multiple points last season and receiving high praise from coaches and his quarterback in the offseason, but he just has not been anywhere near ready for the responsibility and uptick in usage that has been thrust upon him due to the preseason injury to Jordy Nelson.

If Green Bay were equipped to do so, he would probably have been benched by now; injuries have decimated the wideout position already as it is; they can’t really afford to not use an able body at this point.

We all just have to hope he can turn things around soon.

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