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Davante Adams proves he's built 'different' on game-winning drive

Packers’ All-Pro receiver caught a game-high 12 passes for 132 yards

Packers WR Davante Adams secures a 25-yard catch on Green Bay's first play of their game-winning drive in Sunday's 30-28 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Packers WR Davante Adams secures a 25-yard catch on Green Bay's first play of their game-winning drive in Sunday's 30-28 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Aaron Rodgers had 37 seconds left, no timeouts and quite possibly the best wide receiver in the National Football League at his disposal in All-Pro Davante Adams.

With the Packers trailing by a point, only one thought crossed the mind of the NFL's reigning MVP in the waning moments of Sunday night's game with the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium.

"How can I get '17' the ball?" Rodgers said to himself.

Guarding the sidelines to avoid a clock stoppage, the 49ers left the middle of the field open to Adams and the All-Pro receiver took advantage of it. He started with a 25-yard catch over Fred Warner, allowing Rodgers to clock the ball at midfield with 20 seconds remaining.

After missing Adams once, Rodgers went right back to him in the middle of the field for 17 yards to the San Francisco 33. Adams quickly got down, affording Rodgers just enough time to clock the ball and allow kicker Mason Crosby to drill home a 51-yard field goal to pick up a huge 30-28 win over the 49ers.

"I was thinking it's a lot of time on the clock to count us out," said Adams, who finished with a game-high 12 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. "We've got the quarterback to do it, we've got all the personnel to go make plays like that. I knew it'd be tough with no timeouts, but as long as they gave us the right looks for the plays we were going to be getting into, I felt good about it."

What made Adams' heroics even more impressive was the fact he took a nasty hit from 49ers safety Jimmie Ward earlier in the fourth quarter.

The hit left Adams laying for a few minutes and went unpenalized despite a flurry of flags from official Jerome Boger and his crew in the final quarter that had Packers fans in an uproar on social media.

Adams maintains he was fine from a neurological standpoint, which was corroborated by the team doctors when he was evaluated after the hit. The issue he was having related to his chest and difficulty breathing. Adams returned one play later.

While the Packers ultimately had to punt on that series, Adams wasn't discouraged and stayed poised before hauling in the two pivotal passes that led to Crosby's game-winner.

"What a competitor, man," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said. "And then to go out there (after the hit) and have two big catches in the final 2-minute drive, he is the ultimate competitor. I think he is the best receiver in the National Football League, and I think he shows it on a weekly basis."

View some of the best photos from the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on Sept. 26, 2021.

Battling injuries in their secondary, the 49ers struggled to find an answer for Adams early on. The 28-year-old receiver caught seven passes for 73 yards in the first half, including a 1-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers that put Green Bay up 10-0.

San Francisco finally switched to a Cover-2 look in the second half and shaded help to Adams' side of the field, but that helped open opportunities for AJ Dillon, Robert Tonyan and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the passing game.

With Adams playing in front of several of his close family and friends on Sunday night, the Palo Alto, Calif., native stepped up and responded when the Packers needed him the most.

"Well, how I'm able to get through it is I'm different. That's probably the main thing," Adams said. "I've dealt with a lot of stuff like that and just the mental toughness to get in there.

"It wasn't a concussion. On the sideline, they evaluated and saw right away. I was straight. More than anything on the ground was my chest, having trouble catching a breath, but definitely good now."

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