GREEN BAY – Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has lamented often this season about not always being on the same page with his receivers, but that’s rarely the case with his No. 1 target, Davante Adams.
Adams’ two biggest plays in his eight-catch, 93-yard outing vs. Arizona showed how he and Rodgers are very much in sync, but they also demonstrated how many other elements contributed to making those key plays happen.
There was a lot going on.
Play No. 1: Fourth-and-4 from the Arizona 13, second quarter, 11:35 left
Result: 13-yard touchdown pass to Adams
There’s plenty to watch on this play, so let’s break it down, starting with two keys to the protection. First, Cardinals DE Chandler Jones (55, circled) tries to run a stunt inside, but LT David Bakhtiari and C Corey Linsley handle the exchange fine without messing up the block of LG Lane Taylor (75) on DT Corey Peters (98). Second, RG Justin McCray (64, circled) successfully takes DT Rodney Gunter (95) to the ground, perhaps with a little unintentional help from RT Bryan Bulaga’s leg. Regarding the throw, again two things. First, watch how Rodgers actually points to the area where he wants Adams to run. Then, Adams’ spin move in the end zone to get away from S Budda Baker (36) creates instant, and significant, separation.
Play No. 2: Second-and-7 from the Arizona 27, fourth quarter, 5:55 left
Result: 19-yard completion to Adams
This play is as extended as it gets, and the players get smaller as the camera pulls back to capture so much of the field, but hopefully the keys are still visible. First, everyone up front deserves kudos for the lengthy protection on the play, but the most notable to watch is how Bakhtiari and Taylor take turns keeping Jones, Arizona’s sack leader, away from Rodgers. Then, unlike the first play, Rodgers actually cocks his arm to throw this ball a full beat before Adams makes his quick break toward the sideline on Baker. That’s an example of high-level chemistry and an extra dose of trust.