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Inbox: He's a star in the making

Davante Adams is just on a different level right now

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CB Jaire Alexander

Jeff from Eau Claire, WI

What a game by Davante Adams.

Adams is as fluid as receivers come in the NFL. He can run the entire route tree. He's faster than pundits give him credit for. And he's steady, on and off the field. You're witnessing greatness, people. That's no other way to put it.

Jeff from Milwaukee, WI

How many yards will Davante Adams have this year?

Adams is on pace for 126 catches for 1,571 yards and 14 touchdowns…despite missing two games. So yeah…

Dale from Lima, NY

"All seven of Green Bay's third-down conversions Sunday followed a similar script – Aaron Rodgers completing passes to Adams." Amazing. You'd think the Texans would have caught on to this and made adjustments. They have some talented players, but having talented players isn't everything. Maybe their team would have a better record if their coaches were more aware. Am I right?

I checked that stat four times before I tweeted it. I wouldn't put it all on the Texans coaches. They knew where the threat was but Houston just had no answer for it. Davante Adams is just on a different level right now.

Sonia from Fairbanks, AK

Adams showed he wouldn't have trouble getting open in a phone booth. That was a comment by John Kuhn during the postgame. I enjoyed your article about Davante. How do you think he will do against the Vikings' secondary?

Ha. That's a good line by John. Adams had 14 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns in the first encounter this year, so I'd imagine trying to contain No. 17 is high on Mike Zimmer's wish list for Sunday.

Jason from Portsmouth, UK

How about the performance of the O-line yesterday without giving up a sack? I didn't catch much of the game but what stood out to you?

As Aaron Rodgers said, Matt LaFleur had a really sharp game plan to help those tackles out with establishing the run early. When the time came for the Packers to throw, Billy Turner and Rick Wagner were up to the task. Rodgers is on pace to be sacked 19 times this year. The fewest he's taken in a full season is 28 (2014). Turner deserves a lot of credit, though. He was advertised as a do-it-all lineman and that versatility has been useful for the Packers.

Jacob from Prairie du Chien, WI

What a great bounce-back win against a team better than its record says! AR12 and Davante along with Jaire Alexander on the other side will get a lot of praise, but who were some of your unsung heroes in this game?

Turner was the biggest one. It isn't as easy to replace an All-Pro left tackle as he and the Packers made it look Sunday. I also tip my cap to Henry Black (two solo tackles and a forced fumble on six defensive snaps) and Kamal Martin for playing a big role on defense in what amounted to his first football game in almost a full calendar year.

Michael from Winfield, IL

During the game, the announcers were repeatedly mentioning the offensive line. I found myself wondering who Bobby Turner was, though. It turns out he's the running backs coach for San Francisco. When did we start letting coaches of other teams play offensive line for the Packers?

That was regrettable, especially considering Jonathan Vilma had just called a Packers game one week prior when Turner was starting at right tackle. It's not an easy gig, but come on. This isn't Ben Braden signing a day before the game. Turner is a seven-year NFL veteran and he called him Bobby no fewer than four times.

Kevin from Holmen, WI

Did Preston Smith get credit for a sack on his fourth-down stop of Deshaun Watson? If no, why not?

Preston did not get a sack because it was a read-option play and Watson declared as a runner. Sunday was still Preston's best game of the year, in my estimation.

Will from Mechanicsville, VA

What are your thoughts on Raven Greene's performance on Sunday? He seemed pretty active. Any idea on his injury situation?

Greene was active early on before the oblique strain. Injuries really have been the only thing holding him back through his first two-plus NFL seasons. When healthy, he's been the best fit for the Packers in that hybrid safety role since Morgan Burnett left three years ago.

Josh from Tega Cay, SC

Incredible showing! Were you surprised AJ Dillon didn't get more involved?

Not at all. As I wrote Saturday, Jamaal Williams is capable of being a bell-cow back in this league. With Aaron Jones out, the offense needed to ride Williams and the fourth-year veteran produced as a runner, pass-catcher and blocker.

Jacob from Mason, OH

Can Jamaal Williams make GB into the two-headed threat that we so desperately need?

He's been doing that since 2017.

Richard from Madison, WI

Is Jamaal Williams really as cool in person as he appears to be on the field? Man, he makes me smile every time I see him!

I've never covered anyone quite like him, at any level. They broke the mold with this guy.

Jeff from Muskego, WI

When is Jones due back?

We'll see whether he practices Wednesday but it doesn't sound like he should be out long.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

I don't know how many snaps Kamal Martin played but he looked good to me. What say you?

He plays hard, fast and physical. Everything I saw in training camp was on display Sunday. Martin still has a ways to go. It wasn't perfect but he's an athletic thumper. The Packers appear to have found two solid ILB prospects in Martin and Krys Barnes through the 2020 draft process.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes, the Packers' draft picks the past few years show you why you need a lot of picks vs. trading them away. Some high like Jaire are becoming stars, while others are still waiting to make an impact (e.g. Darnell Savage/Rashan Gary), but other rookie free agents or late-round picks are becoming as valuable to the team as some higher picks (Barnes, Vernon Scott, Black, Jones, and Williams). How do you tell fans or critics that you need to look at the whole draft process and not individual picks?

There's more uncertainty involved with drafting players as opposed to trading picks for proven commodities, but it's the safe and manageable way to build for the future. I know everyone is salivating over these clickbait "The Packers should trade for J.J. Watt" stories, but the reality is such a move would be a giant hit on Green Bay's salary cap. As much fun as it is to acquire a player, that leaves less money for a team to spend elsewhere. At only 23, he's a star in the making. Alexander has had that mentality since the day he walked in the building.

Tom from Blaine, WA

Without chortling, might I suggest Alexander Atoll?

I was caught off-guard by how many of these "Alexander Atoll" submissions we received Monday.

Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA

Can we just combine Jaire to Island and call it Jaisland? As for the talk about his lack of interceptions, couldn't the argument be made that he is shutting people down to the point he isn't getting as many chances? Next Gen Stats should have a metric for interception per target/closest defender. If they can tell us how fast a player is going at a given time, who wins against pass/run blocks and all the other numbers they provide, why not a DB stat showing effectiveness, not just picks and PBUs?

Pro Football Focus actually has a couple measurements like that – yards allowed per snap and snaps per allowed reception. Alexander ranks second in yards allowed per snap (0.55) and sixth in snaps per reception (15.9) among cornerbacks with at least 200 coverage snaps. If this keeps up, the pundits will need to start using the Darrelle Revis metric on Alexander. It's hard to get picks if QBs aren't throwing at you.

Dave from Boise, ID

I realize there are multiple big-name free agents hitting the market next season, but at what point do they reach out to Jaire Alexander and pay the man to keep him locked up? They're getting him cheap right now on the first contract, but why not pay the man to keep him happy and in Green and Gold for a long time? Lockdown corners are really hard to find.

Alexander is eligible for an extension after this season but he's under team control through 2022 with the fifth-year option. The Packers used that extra year to lock up Kenny Clark two months ago.

Erik from Holstebro, Denmark

Who was Aaron Rodgers referring to as "Smash" in the postgame interview?

Adrian Amos.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

I thought our run defense against the Texans was stout for most of the game. I saw Montravius Adams in there mixing it up and looked fired up. Are we witnessing him turning the corner? I've been pulling for him every year. We need a group effort for depth and to keep players fresh.

It's not even so much about Adams "turning" a corner at this point. To me, it's as simple as him staying on field because Adams has played well when he's healthy. His strength and power have stood out to me this year. He's pushing the line of scrimmage more than he ever has.

Sean from Vermontville, MI

Hey fellas, nothing like a win to cheer everyone up! Like you, I was expecting a big game out of Robert Tonyan. If I didn't miss something, he was only targeted twice (though one of those was 30-plus yards). Were the Texans putting a lot of focus on him, or was he just not finding the open spaces? Or was Davante just that open that Rodgers didn't have to get to Tonyan in the progression?

I actually had modest expectations for Tonyan in this one after he missed Thursday's padded practice due to the ankle injury he suffered in Tampa. I anticipated the Packers would take more of a by-committee approach at tight end and the formula worked for them. Tonyan had the 31-yarder, Lewis blocked on 21 of his 31 snaps but added a 9-yard reception, and Jace Sternberger caught his first regular-season touchdown pass.

Thomas from Appleton, WI

So what has changed for the Vikings since Week 1 that the Packers need to adjust to?

It's been tough sledding for the Vikings, who lost 40-23 at home to the previously winless Falcons before the bye. Dalvin Cook has been hurt and Danielle Hunter is reportedly out for the year due to his neck injury. Meanwhile, Yannick Ngakoue is already out of the NFC North after the Vikings sent him to Baltimore to recoup some draft capital. However, Justin Jefferson has star written all over his game. While sitting at 1-5, Minnesota still is a serious threat.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

With a short turnaround with a Thursday night road game on the West Coast, no less, will the Packers also use some time this week to prepare for the 49ers, or was this preparation already done during the bye? I also wonder how this impacts availability of injured players given they will have two games in five days that need to be accounted for.

No, this week will be dedicated to the Vikings. Most coaches will do extra prep on the Thursday night opponent during the offseason and bye week, but you gotta prepare to beat Minnesota before the game in San Francisco matters.

Lea from Brookline, MA

What would have happened had the Packers been able to recover the blocked punt? Would it have been our ball with a new set of downs, provided it went past the former line to gain?

Since no Houston player possessed the ball, the Packers player who recovered the ball still would've needed to get the first down.

Mike from Algoma, WI

I thought Houston's onside kick was brilliant. Do you think we'll see more like that? Or is it too dangerous for the kicker?

It was a good call, and a well-executed dribbler, but certainly it's asking Ka'imi Fairbairn to bite down on the mouthpiece a little bit with that slide. Due to the modified kickoff rules, that's the only part of the field that's largely uncovered.

Scott from Issaquah, WA

There are seven NFC playoff spots. Not that I'm happy about it, but pretending it isn't true will accomplish about as much as yelling at the TV.

I'm surprised, and somewhat disappointed, there was so much consternation about this in the submissions. I knew what Spoff was saying from the start – no team in the division that must not be named is above .500, yet it will have a champion and a playoff representative. For that reason, there are eight teams above .500 vying for the other six postseason berths.

The Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans faced off in a Week 7 matchup on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020.

Tyler from Green Bay, WI

Wes, I liked your answer to the J.J. Watt question (on the Packers pregame show) better before you explained yourself. I may have chortled.

Thanks Tyler. I should have left it as just "No, they should not trade for J.J. Watt," dropped the mic and walked off set.

David from Oak Hills, CA

What has become of Mike McCarthy? Is it still too early in the season to tell? Can he turn the tide around? From an outsider's point of view, it seems like his team has given up hope. Once a highly regarded coach, he now seems out of place in a developing league. McCarthy is a respected coach but I'm sure many are surprised to see him struggling like he has as of late.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys remain only a half game out of first in the NFC East. It's been far from an ideal start but remember it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows during his first two months in Green Bay, either.

Bill from Iowa City, IA

After Sunday there are seven teams with no more than one loss. That seems higher than a typical year. Do you agree? If so, why might this be the case?

Correct and I agree that seems high. The NFL traditionally has a lot of parity, but this year seems to be a bit more divergent. While there are seven teams with no more than one loss, there are also seven clubs with zero or one win. Be thankful you're on the right side of the scale at the moment.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

Demovsky posted an article suggesting the Packers trade for Randall Cobb. I'm thinking of y'all.

I actually had a good laugh with Rob about these type of stories last week. He writes something like that, you guys come to Inbox and ask about it, and I shoot it down. Rinse and repeat for the rest of eternity.

Jake from Marshfield, WI

Hey, thanks for the unbiased point of views, they always seem to be spot-on to me. But I'm wondering, do you follow other blogs? Writers from Fansided are often polar opposites. This week, one loved Raven Greene and Kamal Martin and the other called them duds. Are they watching the same game? Don't know if the two of you have ever been that apart. What's your take?

What is a Fansided?

Ron from Beaver Dam, WI

Me thinks that packers.com gets plenty of clicks without having to put out clickbait. Kudos to Mike, Wes and the rest of the crew for consistently excellent work. How many clicks does the site get on an average day?

Enough for them to keep letting me in the building every day.

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