Davante Adams wants more targets; Aaron Rodgers wants 'to play better'
GREEN BAY - Being 3-0 is a good feeling, but Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams said after a 27-16 victory over the Denver Broncos that he’d like to continue feeling that and getting only four balls thrown his way might not get it done.
Adams, who fell one short of tying Sterling Sharpe’s franchise-record of 112 receptions in a season, caught just four passes for 56 yards Sunday.
He caught every pass that was thrown his way, but the amount of double coverage he faced made it difficult for him to get further involved in the offense. There were opportunities for him to get the ball on quick hitches because cornerback Chris Harris Jr. was playing soft coverage most of the game.
“Yeah, they had a safety over the top a lot, about 80% of the time,” Adams said of the type of double coverage he was receiving.
Asked if that is something the Packers are just going to have to deal with until they force teams to back off, Adams said no.
“We just can’t deal with it,” Adams said. “I need to have more than four targets.”
For the season, Adams has 15 catches for 196 yards and no touchdowns. It’s the first time since 2015 that Adams has gone three games in a row without a touchdown.
After halftime, coach Matt LaFleur talked to Adams as he was warming up and then went over to talk to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Adams said LaFleur was just communicating some plans for the second half.
Rodgers agreed that Adams needs to get the ball more than four times a game.
“Four targets for Davante is obviously not enough, especially on a day like today when there was a lot of soft coverage and some stuff to be hit outside,” Rodgers said. “We’ve got to keep finding a way to get him the ball more often.”
Rodgers and LaFleur had an animated conversation on the sideline in the fourth quarter, but it was brief and neither mentioned anything of it after the game.
LaFleur didn’t say anything about needing to get the ball more to Adams in his post-game news conference. He credited the Broncos for taking away some of the things the Packers like to do.
“I know certainly that I’m not satisfied,” LaFleur said. “I think there’s a lot more out there for us. But you have to give credit to the Denver Broncos. They are a good football team. (We knew) we were going to get their best shot.
“When we have opportunities we just have to make the most of them.”
Rodgers not satisfied: ‘I want to play better’
The Packers are 3-0 and the defense is riding high, but Rodgers wasn’t going to take the bait Sunday when asked if it’s nice to know he doesn’t have to play his best for the team to win.
“No, I want to play better,” he said. “I want to score more points. I mean, obviously, you love having a defense, but I don’t take any satisfaction in having an OK performance. I want to have greatness out there.”
The Packers scored a season-high 27 points, but had 305 yards of total offense and were just 2 of 9 on third down. Rodgers went 17-for-29 (58.6%) for 235 yards with one touchdown and a 96.2 rating.
Through the afternoon games that were completed Sunday, Rodgers ranked No. 13 in the league (among quarterbacks with at least 50 attempts) in rating at 96.5. He is averaging 215.7 pass yards per game, which is far and away a career low since taking over as the starter in 2008.
“I’ve got to go back and look at it, but there were definitely some throwaways (Sunday), and we had a few there where we just weren’t on the same page, so we’ve got to clean some things up,” he said. “There were times in this game I felt like I was in a really good rhythm and then times where I felt like we were all a little stagnant, so we’ve got to keep finding ways to stay in that rhythm, because I feel really good about the offense and the potential, but the potential has got to start getting closer to the actual performance.”
Savage savors first interception
Darnell Savage saw an official signal incomplete, then turned to the sideline to — rather adamantly — declare the official was wrong.
The Packers safety had just secured his first career interception, getting his hands underneath a wounded duck of a Joe Flacco pass, only that wasn’t the call. No, in a league where every turnover play is automatically reviewed, the officials Sunday took it upon themselves to decide in real time.
“I knew I caught it,” Savage said. “I didn’t even have to look at the Jumbotron. I just knew I caught it.”
So did the officials, upon further review. LaFleur heeded his rookie’s advice, challenging the play. It was overturned, from incompletion to interception.
Still, the decision to blow the play dead instead of letting it play out cost the Packers. Savage, perhaps trying not to create any turbulence after a win, said he gave himself up, but that was only after it became apparent the play was ruled incomplete.
“What they had said,” LaFleur said, “was that they were blowing the whistle, but it was too loud and nobody could hear it. So they said they ruled it incomplete.”
At best, the decision to end the play cost the Packers yardage that would have come close to starting their possession in scoring position. Instead, the Packers' offense was held to a three-and-out.
At worst, the quick whistle took seven points off the board. Hard to fathom when every turnover play is automatically reviewed.
Still, it was a signature moment for a first-round rookie whose play early in this season has been everything the Packers could have hoped for.
“That dude’s super quick, man,” said cornerback Jaire Alexander, last year’s first-round pick. “He has a knack for the ball. He’s a dog, man.”
Jenkins makes first start
The competition at left guard ended this week when the Packers placed Lane Taylor on injured reserve, moving rookie Elgton Jenkins into that spot.
“I was really excited to run out there first drive,” he admitted.
Jenkins had rotated in for 18 snaps against Minnesota.
“My main focus was going out there and trying to execute,” Jenkins said of getting the start. “Me getting in as a rookie, no drop-off or things like that. All we can do is try to advance and try to be better than we were last week.”
Jenkins was called for a false start on the Packers’ second series, but that was his only penalty. As a group, the Packers' offensive line did not allow a sack to the Broncos while Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams averaged 3.5 yards per rush.
“I don’t think nothing changes,” Jenkins said of now having the job full-time. “Just going out there, going through the week getting ready for the week like I’ve usually been doing. Getting ready, prepared for whenever my name’s called.”