Yes, Davante Adams is the #1 wide receiver in the NFL. And I’m not talking just in fantasy football. This dude was unstoppable yet again against the San Francisco 49ers. Frankly, the only one who has stopped him this year in any capacity is the injuries he’s sustained and had to then play through. Aaron Rodgers has formed formidable tandems with wide receivers in the past, but his connection with Adams may be the most potent one yet. He already has 3 games with over 10 catches and 150+ yards. In the second matchup against the Vikings, where he only had 53 yards, he still had 3 touchdown receptions. He has been remarkably effective and essentially unstoppable all year long. Let get to everything Green Bay Packers in this Week 9 Recap.
Vintage Rodgers Returns
Aaron Rodgers was surgical once again, carving up the 49ers defense for 4 touchdowns and only 6 incompletions. He even showed the vintage rushing ability, escaping the collapsing pocket consistently and even outrunning a defender for a first down on one occasion. He looked extremely comfortable the whole game long and was consistently hitting his receivers in stride no matter what part of the field they were in. The touch he was putting on deep balls specifically harkened back to the days of 2011, and he completed 2 bombs for touchdowns Thursday night.
Defense Shows Signs of Life
The defense, anemic for most of the season (as mentioned in last week’s recap) came up with some big plays finally. Raven Greene gathered up an interception forced by the pressure of Preston Smith. Later in the game, Za’Darius Smith had a strip-sack for good measure.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however, as the defense allowed 49ers receiver Richie James to rack up 184 yards on 9 catches (though some big chunks of that came in garbage time against backups). It’s important to put the performance in perspective, though, as the 49ers were playing with a backup QB and several key players on the injury report. While it was encouraging to see the defense making plays, they need to keep that play up against healthy playoff contenders as well.
Injuries to Watch
Aaron Jones made his return Thursday night on a snap limit and rushed for an efficient 85 yards. It was thankfully perfect timing, with both Jamaal Williams and A.J. Dillon inactive due to COVID concerns. David Bakhtiari missed another week of play and Rick Wagner, who has been starting at right tackle, left the game after aggravating a knee injury. Both the flexibility and good performance of both Elgton Jenkins and Billy Turner need to be highlighted with how both have been moving around and filling the gaps at tackle as the starters at those positions have dealt with injury. Cornerback Kevin King missed another week and star Jaire Alexander left with a concussion during Thursday’s game. The Packers are hopeful that the extended break before their week 10 game will give enough time for many of these players to regain health.
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It is difficult to take too much from Thursday’s game and apply it to the rest of the year. The 49ers have been decimated by injury, more than any other team in the league. Therefore a close game would’ve been a disappointment. The Packers took care of business with some great play in all facets of the game. Rodgers and Adams were unstoppable and the offensive line continued to be dominant. Also, Jones made a successful return to the lineup, and finally, the defense generated turnovers and limited chunk plays.
6-2 and leading the division is hard to argue, but consistency, especially defensively, has evaded this team. The Bears are staying hot on the heels of the division lead with a 5-3 record, so the Packers can’t afford more letdown performances. Thursday’s game can serve as a blueprint for how the Packers can make a deep postseason run. The question that remains is if they can replicate the dominance in all counts against a healthier competition.
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