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Christian Watson continues making a difference for Packers' offense

Rookie second-round pick made more history against Tennessee

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson

GREEN BAY – Four days after becoming the first Packers rookie receiver to catch three touchdowns in a game in 44 years, Christian Watson continued to make history Thursday night against Tennessee.

The rookie second-round pick caught both of Green Bay's touchdowns in a 27-17 loss to the Titans, becoming the first Green Bay rookie to register multiple TD catches in back-to-back games since receiver Max McGee in 1954.

As disappointing as the loss was, Watson's five TD catches in the last two games match McGee's mark for the most by a Green Bay rookie over a two-game span. When added with his performance in Sunday's 31-28 overtime win over Dallas, Watson finished the week with eight catches for 155 yards.

"You gotta take your hat off to him. Five touchdowns in four days, that's huge," receiver Randall Cobb said. "He's playing really well, and I think he's figuring out how he fits into this offense and he's staying on the field. He's unfortunately had to deal with some injuries early on in his career, early on this season, and you see the difference he makes when he's out there."

Watson's first touchdown came on a free play at the end of the first quarter, when quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked for a target in the end zone after catching the Titans' defense with 12 men on the field.

The 6-foot-4, 208-pound receiver came back to the ball and Rodgers delivered a dart for a 14-yard touchdown that pulled Green Bay within one, 7-6, after a blocked extra point.

"Scramble drill is something we work quite frequently," Watson said. "Obviously, being able to be on the same page with '12' is huge. He gave me a shot to get it. He put it in a spot where only I could get it and it worked out."

Watson gave the offense another much-needed shot in the arm in the third quarter when he capped a seven-play, 69-yard scoring drive with an 8-yard touchdown reception on a crossing route to the end zone.

It pulled the Packers within three points, 20-17, after a successful two-point conversion. While that's as close as Green Bay would get in its bid for a comeback, Watson added an 18-yard reception in the fourth quarter that turned a third-and-19 situation with 2 minutes, 39 seconds left into a fourth-and-1.

Still, it wasn't enough to outduel a Titans offense that threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns. Offensively, Watson's two scores, Cobb's six catches for 73 yards and Allen Lazard's five receptions for 57 couldn't offset the Packers rushing for just 56 yards on 19 carries.

"I know I could have been better throughout the night and I'm sure other people feel the same," Watson said. "We have to look at the tape, figure out what we need to do going forward and make sure we do that."

This still was an encouraging week for Watson, whose rookie season was marred by injuries and bad luck. After sustaining a concussion last month in Buffalo, Watson had the wind knocked out of him the next week in Detroit and was held out for precautionary reasons.

With five touchdowns in four days, Watson now leads all rookie receivers in scoring. His 155 receiving yards during that stretch is nearly double what Watson had through his first six regular-season games combined.

As the Packers look to rally back from 4-7, the promising rookie wants to be part of the solution for what's been an up-and-down year for Green Bay's offense.

"I want to be able to contribute as much as I can and make plays when my number is called," Watson said. "At the end of the day, none of that matters if we're not winning football games.

"Obviously, I gotta continue to do better and we gotta continue to do better. I said it last week – the only stat we care about is a W at the end of the day. Everything else is secondary to that."


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