GREEN BAY – Two dropped passes, and touchdowns to boot, aren’t going to rattle Davante Adams.
They aren’t going to shake his teammates’ belief in him either.
“I’ll keep going to him,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on Tuesday. “That’s not going to stop at all. The guy is a big-time playmaker for us, and he has all the confidence in the world. A couple drops is not going to put a dent in that.
“Davante has earned targets. He’s been open consistently this year and made a lot of plays for us.”
With four 100-yard games to his credit this season, two of them with multiple touchdowns, Adams had the opportunities for another big day in Chicago.
In the final minute of the second quarter with the Packers on the Chicago 16-yard line, he beat the Bears’ top cornerback, Tracy Porter, to the corner of the end zone, but Rodgers’ pass glanced off his fingertips.
Then on Green Bay’s next possession, again from the Chicago 16, he beat corner Cre’Von LeBlanc on a similar route, and an even better pass went right through his hands.
“I just have to make that,” he said. “I’ve made it a million times.”
A kick of the pylon after the second drop only began to illustrate Adams’ frustration. He said he “let it go” for the rest of the game, but upon watching the film, he ripped himself on social media.
The performance was in such stark contrast to the two spectacular catches he made just three weeks prior in Philadelphia, and to his big-play barrage of late – four grabs of 40-plus over the previous six games.
On the Chicago plays, Adams explained that he lost the first one in the sun momentarily and just put his hands out hoping they’d be in the right place. The second one, for whatever reason, he was in between catching it with his hands and his body, and he did neither.
But none of that mattered. He knows the fans don’t care, and he said as much on Tuesday. He wasn’t trying to make excuses for anything. He was just being honest.
He was also being forthright when he claimed it’s not something that psychologically will bother him.
“I’m not saying it’s nothing, or downplaying it, because obviously you have to make the plays,” he said. “But it’s nothing to come back from.”
He compared it to bouncing back from his disappointing, injury-riddled 2015 season, which was more physical than mental. Rodgers separated the issues as well.
“That was very abnormal,” Rodgers said. “As I’ve said many times, those are going to happen. Drops are part of the game. Physical mistakes are part of the game. The mental mistakes are the frustrating ones, and the guy is as mentally sharp as they come.”
During the game, nobody came over to Adams to offer any real words of consolation. Having been in his shoes, Jordy Nelson intentionally stayed away, figuring Adams didn’t want to talk to anyone.
But Adams knew his teammates were behind him. Rodgers said he got a little chuckle out of him by telling him not to throw his helmet so he’d be ready to go right back on the field.
On the next drive, Rodgers went to Adams on the first two plays, overthrowing him on first down but coming back to him again for a 19-yard catch-and-run. It was no surprise.
“It just shows the confidence he had in Davante,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s played big for us this year. Yes, he had two drops in Chicago, but we’re going to throw it to him again on Saturday. That’s just the way we play.”
In his third season, Adams has blown away his previous career highs with 65 catches for 922 yards and nine TDs in 2016. He has two more regular-season games to hit the 1,000-yard milestone on the year, and there seems little doubt he’s going to get there, and then some.
“I think we all know he’s made some big plays for us. We’re going to need him down the stretch,” Nelson said.
“That’s one of those things, you don’t wish that upon anyone. No one wants that to happen to themselves. But he’ll bounce back. He’ll practice well this week, and I’ll probably almost guarantee he’ll go out and make a big play for us on Saturday and give us an opportunity to win the game.”