Packers receiver Davante Adams eclipses 1,000-yard mark with a big performance against Eagles
GREEN BAY - In 2019, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams almost reached 1,000 receiving yards. Almost.
A quick three-yard checkdown and Adams would’ve thrust himself across the finish line. An extra stride on a reception. A couple forward falls. Anything. Instead, he settled for 997 receiving yards for the second time in his career, just as he did in 2016.
There isn’t anything almost about Davante Adams in 2020. In the Packers’ Week 13 win against the Philadelphia Eagles, Adams eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards and notched 13 touchdowns with four games left in the regular season.
He missed 2½ games with an ankle injury, too.
“There's a lot of good things over the past few years that we've done,” Adams said. “Aaron and my connection continuing to grow. Him continuously finding me out there.
“I always think, what can I do a little bit better? Cause once you do a certain thing, you can't come back at the same level if you've got more in the tank. I feel like I'm just starting to hit my prime so I might as well maximize this thing and continue to work.”
After making 10 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles, Adams now sits at 84 receptions, 1,209 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. He joins Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice as the only players in the Super Bowl era to reach over 1,000 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in their first ten games of the season.
Each of Adams’ contemporaries have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“It's amazing just to hear some of the names (on that list),” Adams said. “It's pretty good company to be in. A few of those guys, most of those guys played in a different era of football, too.”
Adams’ 1,000th yard came on his seventh reception of the game, a 13-yard gain on a fruitless possession for the Packers offense. His contributions all night, however, were anything but fruitless.
The longest gain of Adams’ performance came from a 42-yard reception with the Packers at their own one-yard line. According to head coach Matt LaFleur, the play was designed to get the ball to Adams, but if he was covered downfield, then quarterback Aaron Rodgers would look for running back Aaron Jones in the flat.
Adams was covered downfield by cornerback Darius Slay. Rodgers ripped the ball to Adams on a post route anyway, with cornerback Avonte Maddox practically on top of Adams. With late hands, Adams made the catch.
“There's no coverage for the perfect ball and for the perfect reception,” LaFleur said. “And that's exactly what happened cause that play happened right in front of me. And it might be one of the most spectacular catches I've ever seen.”
Rodgers said, however, that it wasn’t a perfect ball. Instead, he said it was slightly underthrown. Typically when Rodgers is on the ground after getting a throw off, he relies on the roar of the crowd to determine whether or not his receiver came down with a ball. Without fans in the stands, Rodgers didn’t know Adams had caught the ball until he heard cheers from the sideline.
“I just shook my head and came back and I said, 'How the hell'd you catch that ball, man?'” Rodgers said. “It was pretty special. That's what he does. He's such a gifted player. Such a smart, talented guy. Makes my job a lot easier.”
Those 42 yards helped Adams reach 1,000 for the second time in his career (2018, 1,386 yards). The play also set Adams up for a score later in the drive, which marked Rodgers’ 400th career touchdown pass.
No almost this season. Just another broken milestone for Adams.