GREEN BAY, Wis. – Davante Adams vs. Bradley Roby might have been a tasty morsel of an individual matchup.
Instead, when the Houston Texans’ top cornerback exited on the opening series with a knee injury, it became a feeding frenzy for the Green Bay Packers’ prolific No. 1 receiver.
Adams had one of the best games of a career filled with strong performances. He caught 13-of-16 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns to help the Packers blast the Texans 35-20 on Sunday in Houston.
Adams set a career high for receiving yards, beating the 180 yards against Philadelphia last season, and recorded the 10th two-touchdown game of his career. For the third time, he recorded 13 receptions. He missed his career high of 14 set in this year’s opener at Minnesota.
In fact, his yardage total was the most by any player in the NFL this season.
So confident in his ability, Adams doesn’t sweat individual matchups. Without Roby, it became an all-you-can-eat buffet.
“I look at everybody the same way. I think I’ve said that a trillion times at this point,” Adams said. “That’s no disrespect to anybody. [Roby] is a hell of a player. I’m not really sure what happened and why he didn’t play. I would have loved that matchup, as well, but, at the end of the day, I can only eat what’s in front of me. I’m going to go out there and play and run my routes to win no matter who’s guarding me, as I always say. That would have been a good matchup either way.”
Adams got rolling early. On a third-and-1 on the opening drive, he won on a crossing route, made a difficult catch look easy and gained 8 yards. Later on the drive, on third-and-goal at the 3, his route was so wicked that cornerback Phillip Gaines buckled and dropped to his knees. Adams broke his route to the outside for an easy touchdown.
On the next-to-last play of the first quarter, on third-and-9, Adams beat cornerback Vernon Hargreaves deep for a gain of 28. Adams said he lost the ball in the lights.
“That actually happens a lot more often than people think,” Adams said. “It’s tough. You get in some of these domes, the ball’s in the light line for a while and I could not see the ball until basically it touched my hands. I kind of had an idea where it was and I just had to squeeze on it. That’s just a credit to Aaron for throwing a ball that I can catch without seeing. It’s big. Those are the type of plays that we’ve made in the past and we had a high percentage of them today.”
On the first play of the second quarter, play-action fakes to Jamaal Williams and Darrius Shepherd helped Adams get open for a catch-and-run gain of 36 yards to set up Jace Sternberger’s touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
On the final drive before halftime, Adams had catches of 15 and 16 yards to set up Malik Taylor’s touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
At that point, Adams had eight catches for 114 yards while the Texans as a team had 115 passing yards.
Nothing changed in the second half, including the Texans’ reliance on man coverage.
“I enjoy my one-on-ones,” Adams said. “Those are fun. I think Aaron, his antennae go up when we do get those one-on-ones.”
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Rodgers missed Adams, who was streaking open across the middle. No matter. On third-and-4, Adams blew past safety Eric Murray for a 45-yard touchdown to make it 28-7.
Adams closed his show-stopping performance with a 16-yard grab on a back-shoulder pass that converted a third-and-7. That play put Williams in position for the closing touchdown.
“Great plan this week,” Adams said. “Felt good about everything all week. By the time we got to Friday, I had a pretty good feeling about how this game was going to go, you know, with our personnel vs. theirs. So, yeah, it was a good day.”