It wasn't until the game was over and the Packers officially had put away the Minnesota Vikings, 43-34, in Sunday's regular-season opener that Davante Adams realized what he'd just accomplished.
The Pro Bowl receiver's 40-yard, over-the-shoulder catch down the sideline not only helped set up Aaron Jones' score to put away the Vikings, but it also represented so much more in the franchise's 102-year history.
That reception, Adams' 14th of the afternoon, tied Don Hutson's 78-year-old franchise record for most in a single game, putting an exclamation mark on a 156-yard, two-touchdown performance.
And it was only after quarterback Aaron Rodgers told Adams about the achievement immediately after the game that the seventh-year receiver connected the dots on an historic day.
"I did not know. I had no clue," said Adams of tying Hutson's franchise mark. "I knew I had a couple catches by that point and I knew I might be creeping up around that area, but I definitely didn't know that that was 14."
And that wasn't all. Adams also became the first receiver in franchise history to post three consecutive 100-yard performances against the Vikings after registering seven receptions for 106 yards in Week 2 and 13 catches for 116 yards in Week 16 last season.
With Mike Hughes and Holton Hill stepping in for departed veterans Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, Adams was economical early on against the young corners. He had eight catches for 79 yards when he ran a corner route on second-and-9 with 47 seconds remaining in the first half.
With Rodgers stepping up to extend the play, Adams drove back to the side of the end zone and looked in a 24-yard touchdown to extend the Packers' lead to 15-7. Adams' nine catches for 103 yards in the first half were the most in a half by a Packers player since his close friend James Jones had nine catches for 152 yards vs. Washington on Sept. 15, 2013.
"I saw Aaron move my way, so it was just about keeping it alive," Adams said. "Obviously, '12' saw an opening and he just threw a bullet over there, a dart, and it felt like it was 10 yards away because the ball got up on me so quick. I was able to get a little toe-tap action in the back and make sure I didn't get my Achilles landed on, on top of that. It was a good deal."
Adams kept it going in the second half. After a quiet start to the third quarter for both teams, Rodgers connected with Marquez Valdes-Scantling for 39 yards down the seam on third-and-5.
Two plays later, Rodgers hit Adams on a quick 1-yard fade on second-and-goal to put Green Bay up 29-10. Adams only had one catch in the fourth quarter, but that 40-yard catch on first-and-20 helped slam the door on any hopes of a comeback for the Vikings, who had pulled within 10.
"I didn't feel like I was force-feeding him today, he was just in positions to make a number of catches and he obviously made a bunch of plays," Rodgers said. "I always believed that records should be achieved in the flow, that we shouldn't go chasing those things, and what a beautiful game that he played today."
Still, after the game, Adams was lamenting two of the three passes he didn't catch Sunday – a quick slant on fourth-and-goal from the Minnesota 1-yard line and a close catch near the sideline that officials ruled he bobbled upon review, both in the first half.
U.S. Bank Stadium hosted a Week 1 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.
Rodgers said he'd probably tease him on the postgame bus about the latter since it could've given him the record. Either way, Adams' conversions early and big plays late were critical in the Packers generating 522 total yards of offense, converting 31 first downs and dominating time of possession 41:16-18:44.
Talking with Rodgers and Head Coach Matt LaFleur, Adams knew he was going to be a big part of the game plan Sunday given the changes at cornerback for Minnesota, but he didn't take anything for granted. He looked at it like "Deion Sanders" was going to be across from him at the line of scrimmage.
In the end, Adams did what he was supposed to do and walked out of U.S. Bank Stadium with another achievement tacked onto his career resume – and also another goal to strive for.
Fifteen catches in a game.
"It's great company to be in, wish I could have broke it," said Adams of the record. "It's awesome. I'm just trying to do my part in this offense and let the records come with it and that's great. But if they don't, that's great, too."
Most receptions in a game, Packers history
- 14, Don Hutson, at NYG, Nov. 22, 1942 (134 yds.)
14, Davante Adams, at Min., Sept. 13, 2020 (156 yds.)
- 13, Don Hutson, vs. CleR, Oct. 18, 1942 (209 yds.)
13, Davante Adams, vs. ChiB, Oct. 20, 2016 (132 yds.)
13, Davante Adams, at Min., Dec. 23, 2019 (116 yds.)