It was the first day of November in 2015. The Green Bay Packers had started out the season on fire, winning their first six games to give them a 6-0 record and make them Super Bowl favorites. Then November 1st happened.
The Packers rolled into Denver, Colorado to play the Broncos on Sunday Night Football. The Broncos at that time, also undefeated, put a monster whooping on the Packers and Denver won the game 29-10. To put in perspective just how badly the Packers were dominated, look at the total number of passing yards Aaron Rodgers had in the game (77). Yes, he played the entire game.
The reason I bring up 2015 is particularly how much it pertains to the NFL’s current Best WR in Davante Adams. The 6’1, 28 year old, 2014 2nd round pick out of Fresno State is coming off a 2020 campaign with 115 receptions for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns. Adams has proven to be unguardable. He’s well on his way to making the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame at his current pace.
So, how did we get here?
On that night in Denver, Adams had 1 catch for 8 yards. It was his first game back from an injury in Week 3. In the next two weeks, the Packers lost games to the Panthers and Lions as their record continued to plummet. Adams saw plenty of action, as he was targeted 11 times and 21 times in those two games. Yet, it wasn’t sunshine and roses like it is today. Far from it.
The 2015 season encapsulated a Packers team that started 6-0, went 4-6 in their last 10 games, snuck into the playoffs and eventually lost in the NFC Divisional Round. It wasn’t a bad team, as the Packers had a respectable running attack and a sturdy defense. However, it was a team that found themselves black and blue by seasons end that absolutely grinded from November on.
Jordy Nelson, the Packers Top WR at the time and Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target, suffered an injury in the 2015 pre-season that cost him the entire year. That opened the door for Adams, to see a huge increase in playing time, as well as all the pressure that comes with it in his 2nd NFL season. When the Packers started losing, and kept losing, the media got loud.
“Davante Adams should be cut”
“The receivers can’t separate, play press man-to-man and you’ll beat them”
“Nobody can get open”
The talk was loud and constant as Green Bay kept losing. Adams scored his 1st touchdown of the season in his 9th game played that year, and finished the season with an unusual stat line of 93 targets for 50 receptions, 483 yards and 1 touchdown.
Hard times can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, and the adversity that Adams faced in 2015 more than likely spring-boarded his unbelievable career thus far. Adams, a student of the game, is an extremely hard-working, focused professional who carries the confidence and swagger of a champion.
Since 2016, here are his statistics (including playoffs)
At his current level of production, Adams will more than likely break all major Packers records if he’s able to stay a Packer. As it stands right now, Adams is 8th all time in Packers history in receiving yards (6,568) and has a chance to crack the Top-5 after 2021. He’s 1,280 yards behind Jordy Nelson, who presently ranks 5th all time in Packers receiving yards.
Adams is also 4th all time in Packers receiving touchdowns, with 62. He needs 4 more receiving touchdowns to pass Sterling Sharpe and 8 more to pass Jordy Nelson. If he’s able to do that in 2021, he will only be looking up at Don Hutson (1935-1945), who holds the Packer record with 99 receiving touchdowns. Adams has a chance to pass him.
Finally, Adams currently ranks 4th all time in Packer receptions with 546. He needs 5 more catches to pass Jordy Nelson and 50 to pass Sterling Sharpe. If he’s able to do that, the person to catch from there is Donald Driver, who holds the All-Time Packers record in receptions with 743.
The Green Bay Packers, 13 time World Champions, have a long and rich history. Wide Receivers like Don Hutson, Boyd Dowler, James Lofton, Sterling Sharpe, Antonio Freeman, Robert Brooks, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have all suited up for Titletown and proudly represented the Green and Yellow.
If Davante Adams truly is the greatest WR in Packers franchise history, it’s a big deal. Going into his 8th NFL season in 2021, the young man from California may already be there.——————
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a diehard Packers fan. Alex\\\'s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.