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More milestones: What's possible for Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams

Personal bests, team records, league rankings all at stake over final four games of 2020

QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Davante Adams
QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Davante Adams

GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams have made a lot of history already in 2020, but there could be plenty more to come.

Rodgers already has reached 50,000 passing yards and 400 passing touchdowns in his career, but he's got some single-season marks to shoot for over the final four games of the regular season – the fourth quarter of 2020, so to speak.

Same for Adams, who could make another run at a pair of Packers records he nearly surpassed just two years ago.

Starting with the quarterback, Rodgers' three-TD outing last week vs. Philadelphia was his ninth game this season with at least three TD passes. That's just one off his personal best and the team record of 10, which he set back in 2011.

He'll need at least one more three-TD game if he's going to break another of his own team records, the 45 TD passes he threw in 2011. If he throws two TD passes in each of the final four games, he'll come up one short at 44.

Matching or surpassing the 45 touchdown passes also would give him a shot at topping his single-season NFL record 122.5 passer rating (also from '11, of course). He's currently at 118.5, second-best in his career by a half-dozen rating points.

The biggest statistical factors in the passer rating are yards per attempt, touchdowns and interceptions. For the 122.5, Rodgers' numbers were 9.2 yards per attempt, 45 TDs and just six INTs. This year he's at 8.2-36-4, so the path to another four-plus rating points will be more big plays and a large TD number without any more picks, which isn't out of the question.

If Rodgers can accomplish all that, particularly the passer-rating record, he'd be in position to win a third Associated Press MVP award. Only five players in league history have won three of them.

Adams has a chance to reach some rarefied air as well.

With a touchdown reception in seven straight games heading into Sunday's matchup with the Lions, Adams can set the team record he shares with Don Hutson if he makes it eight in a row. Only two other players in team history have a touchdown (of any kind) in seven straight games, Paul Hornung and Ahman Green, and Adams can jump ahead of them as well.

On a larger scale, if Adams extends his TD-reception streak to eight games, he'll be tied for the third-longest streak in the Super Bowl era, behind only Jerry Rice (12 games in 1987) and A.J. Green (nine games in 2012).

Shifting the focus back to Packers history, Adams has a chance to break the team's single-season marks in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs, but none will be easy.

He currently has 84 catches for 1,029 yards and 13 TDs. The records are 112 receptions (Sterling Sharpe, 1993), 1,519 yards (Jordy Nelson, 2014), and 18 TDs (Sharpe, 1994).

Back in 2018, Adams was almost certainly going to break the receptions mark and he had a shot at the yardage one when he had 111 grabs for 1,386 yards with one game to go. But he was held out of that game due to a knee injury.

This year, he'll need to average 7 catches, 122.5 yards, and 1.25 TDs to match each of the records. Having played just 10 of the 12 games in 2020, his current averages are 8.4, 103 and 1.3, so everything's within reach.

It's hard to even fathom the numbers he might be on pace to hit had he not missed two games (Weeks 3-4) with a hamstring injury, so Adams doesn't even go there.

"I don't like to live in that world a lot," he said. "I mean, I missed those games so it's not a whole lot I can get back. Obviously if I would have been in there, we know the numbers would be better. So I feel fine knowing the work that I'm doing now is measured up to people who played every game of the season."

Career-wise, having caught his 500th pass two weeks ago, Adams is at 515 receptions, closing in on James Lofton (530) for fourth place in the team record books. He's also currently tied for fifth in TD receptions with Antonio Freeman (57), just four behind Donald Driver in fourth. And he needs a little over 400 yards to move ahead of Freeman (6,651) for eighth on the yardage list.

As for awards, Adams is trying to become the Packers' first AP All-Pro receiver since Nelson earned second-team recognition in 2014. Green Bay's last first-team selection was Freeman back in 1998.

The Green Bay Packers practiced on Clarke Hinkle Field on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020.

A lot of receivers are putting up big numbers across the league, so how the All-Pro voting will shake out remains to be seen. Adams currently ranks fourth in the NFL in receptions, sixth in yards, and tied for first in TDs. Again, the two missed games hurt him there, but a big finish could diminish the absence.

He has plenty of internal support for any accolades that come his way, none stronger than his teammate making a lot of history this year right alongside him.

"He is a phenomenal player. He is as good as they come. I wouldn't want to throw to anybody else," Rodgers said.

"He is one of a kind. Very unique player, unique person. I'm better because of him as a person and as a quarterback."

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