NASHVILLE — Every time the Packers’ offense has looked to Davante Adams for a spark this season, the third-year receiver has answered the call.
On Sunday, Adams provided a significant lift for the offense in the second quarter en route to finishing with six catches for a career-high 156 yards against Tennessee.
Adams was responsible for the offense’s three longest plays against the Titans, including a 35-yard completion that converted a fourth-and-5 situation from Green Bay’s own 43.
The play was a catalyst in the Packers’ scoring drive that ended with Aaron Rodgers’ 20-yard touchdown run that pulled Green Bay within two scores in the middle of the third quarter.
In nine games, Adams already has matched his 50 receptions from last season and set new career highs in receiving yards (621) and touchdowns (six).
“It’s great to see Davante do this,” receiver Jordy Nelson said. “It’s something he’s obviously worked at extremely hard over the last three years. You always want to see guys start to reap benefits from it. It builds his confidence and it builds confidence with Aaron and the coaching staff.
“That fourth-and-5 he made, at that point in time was a huge play for us to keep us in the game and give us a chance.”
After the Packers punted on all three of their possessions in the opening quarter, Adams caught two passes for 31 yards on the Packers’ first series of the second to ignite the offense.
The nine-play, 75-yard drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Nelson, which moved the veteran receiver into a tie with Antonio Freeman for fourth in franchise history for career touchdown receptions with 57.
On the next series, Adams then caught a season-long pass of 46 yards to finish the first half with five catches for 121 yards.
“It’s just a matter of opportunities and the way people are playing,” Adams said. “Aaron was finding me at different times and I try to make the most of those opportunities. I try to do that every week. It’s not something I try to put on film today because it’s the Titans. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, I try to do that every single week.”
Starks back: One bright spot for the Packers’ offense was the return of running back James Starks, who missed the past four games after undergoing knee surgery.
In his first start of the season, Starks rushed seven times for 33 yards and caught a 13-yard touchdown from Rodgers on a screen pass, his first of the season.
“It’s always great to see James out there,” center Corey Linsley said. “He works his (butt) off every day. I know it’s probably been a struggle (with the injury). I know as well as him. Having the surgery and everything that he did and coming back and being able to play again this season is great for us and also great for him.”
The Packers lost two of their starting offensive linemen during the course of the game with left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) and right guard T.J. Lang (ankle) exiting with injuries.
Rookie Jason Spriggs stepped in for Bakhtiari, while veteran Don Barclay played nearly the entire game at right guard after Lang left early in the first quarter and didn’t return.
Defensive back Micah Hyde continues to nurse a shoulder injury and safety Kentrell Brice also was being evaluated for a concussion.
Heads up: Linebacker Joe Thomas made sure the Packers’ kickoff coverage unit wasn’t caught off-guard when the Titans tried to go for a surprise onside kick on the opening kickoff.
Thomas, one of the six blockers up front, dove on the ball to give the Packers’ offense possession at the Tennessee 49-yard line.
“They tried to steal one at the beginning, but credit our special teams for doing their job and capitalizing on that opportunity,” Nelson said.
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