When the Packers took the field Sunday, it had been 21 days since Marquez Valdes-Scantling's last catch had resulted in a fumble during an overtime loss to Indianapolis.
Yet, the third-year receiver continued to go about his business, both in practice and in games. He didn't complain when he wasn't targeted two weeks ago against Chicago or lament not bringing in a deep ball last Sunday against Philadelphia.
Valdes-Scantling kept his head up, even providing a crucial block on Aaron Jones' game-ending 77-yard run against the Eagles, before stepping into the receiving spotlight again during Sunday's 31-24 win over the Detroit Lions.
This time, the 6-foot-4, 208-pound receiver caught all six passes quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw his way for 85 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown in the second quarter off a back-shoulder throw in which Valdes-Scantling clasped the ball and extended over the goal line for the score.
Meanwhile, his 21-yard reception in the middle of the field on third-and-14 was critical to Green Bay's 11-play, 75-yard drive to start the second half that took nearly nine minutes off the clock.
"I'm really proud of the way that he played today, the focus that he's shown the last few weeks not getting the football has been really admirable," Rodgers said. "That's how you earn the respect of your teammates, the way you conduct yourself when it may not be going as well as you'd like."
Valdes-Scantling continues to be one of the offense's biggest playmakers, particularly on deep balls. His 19.5 yards per catch is the highest average among qualifying receivers, besting Carolina's D.J. Moore by a full yard for the top spot.
At the same time, Valdes-Scantling has had to work through a couple drops on deep balls this season, a mistimed back-shoulder throw in Indianapolis and the overtime fumble that produced a 34-31 defeat at the hands of the Colts.
But the way Valdes-Scantling has handled "true adversity," as Rodgers terms it, has earned him the undying respect of his teammates…and makes standout performances like Sunday that much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
With three games still remaining, the 26-year-old speedster already has established new career highs with 603 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
"To be able to overcome a lack of targets and not really playing the way you want to play and everything that comes with that, I take my hat off to him. It's not easy," receiver Davante Adams said. "So I've got a lot of respect to the man for coming out and just catching the ball the way he did. … For him to go out and do that says a lot about where his mindset is right now."
Two of a kind: As has been the case all season, Adams and tight end Robert Tonyan continued to smash more franchise records against the Lions.
With his 56-yard touchdown catch on the third offensive play of the game, Adams became the first player in Packers history to score at least one touchdown in eight consecutive games.
"That just is a testament to the type of player Davante is – so explosive," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said. "Whether there's one guy or two guys on him, he always seems to find a way to make a great play."
What's more, Adams is the first player in NFL history to catch at least six passes and score a touchdown in eight straight contests. Despite missing two games with a hamstring injury, the three-time Pro Bowler has now caught 91 passes for 1,144 yards and a career-high 14 touchdowns.
Tonyan, meanwhile, became the first tight end in franchise history to catch a touchdown pass in four consecutive games with his 4-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter.
His nine TD receptions are the most by a Packers tight end since Bubba Franks matched that in 2001. Tonyan needs only two more to match Paul Coffman's franchise record of 11, set in 1983.
If that wasn't enough, Tonyan also threw a chip block that caused three Lions defensive linemen to domino into each other on the third-and-14 play when Rodgers hit Valdes-Scantling for 21.
"He's a smart route-runner, he understands the scheme, I think he's got a good feel out on the field," said Rodgers of Tonyan. "I think the jumps that you've seen from him have been across the board. You've seen him become a better blocker, become a better route runner, be better after the catch. He's always been a great hands catcher. And you love that as a quarterback because of the radius you can throw the ball to him."
Another clean outing: The Packers' equipment staff hasn't needed to overdo it with scrubbing Rodgers' jersey, given how well the offensive line has blocked for its two-time MVP QB.
The Packers pitched another shutout against the Lions, as Rodgers wasn't sacked once, while playing behind the offensive line of David Bakhtiari, Lucas Patrick, Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner and Rick Wagner for the second straight week.
"Today was a very light day as far as getting hit, no sacks. I felt like my movement in the pocket was good," said Rodgers, who has been sacked only 13 times in 13 games.
"Rick, I think, has done a really nice job at right tackle. Lucas Patrick has been fantastic for us all season long. Elgton playing multiple positions. Obviously, the big giraffe (Bakhtiari) has had a fantastic year and Billy has been so versatile for us. … Those guys have been playing really, really good."
The Green Bay Packers faced the Detroit Lions in a Week 14 matchup at Ford Field on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020.
LaFleur also confirmed second-year linebacker Rashan Gary was held out late due to "something that he was battling through."
Prior to the injury, Gary notched his fifth sack of the season on third-and-18 in the second quarter to force a Detroit punt from its own 41. It was one of four the Packers recorded against Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who left with a rib injury late in the fourth quarter and didn't return.