Davante Adams has caught 25 passes in the past two games. If there were such records kept, that would probably be a team record. Though his effort wasn’t enough to overcome the Atlanta Falcons, there’s not much doubt that Adams is now Aaron Rodgers’ go-to receiver.
Total Packers contributors have long been critics of Adams. I’m sure Adams’ supporters are awaiting, if not for an apology, at least an admission that Adams has proved us wrong. I’m not ready to do that.
Here’s what the statistics from the Atlanta game show. Adams was targeted 14 times, and caught 12 passes for 74 yards – for an average of 5.3 yards per attempt. Rodgers threw 21 times to his other four receivers (I’m not counting running backs and their three caches and three net yards). Those 21 throws produced 169 yards – that’s just over 8 yards per attempt.
The yards per attempt breakdown for the rest: Jordy Nelson, 10.44; Jeff Janis, 7.5; Trevor Davis, 6.0; and Geronimo Allison, 5.25. Conclusion: Adams was the second least productive of the five receivers on Sunday. He was almost two yards less productive each time Rodgers threw his way than when he threw to the other four combined.
Though Adams’ 5.3 average is but a one-game sampling, the pattern is fairly consistent throughout his nearly two and a half years with the team. Even including his last two “monster” games, in his 36 regular season games he’s been targeted 216 times and gained 1,353 yards – that’s 6.26 yards per attempt for his career.
Adams’ 6.26 average compares to these career numbers of recent or current Packers’ receivers (statistics based on playing with the Packers only): Nelson, 9.95; Greg Jennings, 8.89; Randall Cobb, 8.69; James Jones, 8.57; and Donald Driver, 8.21. The raw data is: Nelson, 656 targets for 6,524 yards; Jennings, 735 for 6,537; Cobb, 491 for 4,266; Jones, 606 for 5,195; and Driver, 1,234 for 10,137.
Davante Adams has had two high-catch games. He’s done so without a drop, he’s looked good, and he’s done his best to gain extra yards after catch. But his stats against the Falcons – and for his entire pro career – are not that of a top-tier receiver, and certainly not the stats of a receiver you’d want to be the centerpiece of your passing attack.
If Rodgers and Mike McCarthy plan to use Adams as the team’s primary receiver going forward – and it’s looking like this is the case – indications are that the Packers offense will be inefficient and the team will not thrive.
Based on this analysis, I remain unrepentant.