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While Adams Dominates, Packers Get Unlikely Contributions

Davante Adams had an overwhelming day against the Bengals but the Green Bay Packers got key catches from a pair of unlikely players.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Davante Adams dominated the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Nothing new there. What was new was the unorthodox nature of the rest of the Green Bay Packers’ passing attack in that 25-22 victory.

In Green Bay’s one-two punch of a backfield, Aaron Jones is the lightning to AJ Dillon’s thunder. Last season, Jones caught 47 passes while Dillon caught only one. In 15 career games entering Sunday, Dillon had seven catches for 60 yards. Jones had four career games of more than 60 yards.

It was a role reversal vs. Cincinnati, though. While Jones caught four passes for only 6 yards, Dillon caught four balls for 49 yards. He had catches of at least 12 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown.

“Although he didn't have the notoriety for having hands, I think we found out pretty early when we first got him a year ago that, hey, here’s a big guy that can be a threat out of the backfield,” coach Matt LaFleur said on Monday. “And he continues to make big time plays for us. He’s such a load to tackle. Certainly, you get him in the secondary, there’s not too many corners or safeties that want to tackle that guy. He’s done an outstanding job. We’ve got to continue to find ways to get him the ball.”

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The second oddity was at tight end. Last season, Robert Tonyan was one of the breakout stars of the NFL. With 52 catches and 11 touchdowns, he led the NFL’s tight ends in catch percentage (88.1), drops (zero) and touchdowns (tied with Travis Kelce). This season, he’s caught only nine passes with just one touchdown and already has been the target of more incompletions (eight) than last year.

Against the Bengals, Tonyan caught 1-of-2 targets for 8 yards while Lewis caught both targets for 34 yards, including a 20-yard screen that helped set up the game-winning field goal.

It’s obviously a small sample size with four receptions, but Lewis’ 15.0-yard average is the team’s best among the nine players with at least two catches.

“I think you can see how excited the guys get when he touches the football,” LaFleur said. “He had one earlier in the game on the keeper, too. Every time we got to ‘Cedes in the pass game, even though we don’t do it a ton, he seems to deliver. That was a pretty big moment in the game, taking that screen pass 20 yards or whatever it was and his ability to be elusive. I always call him, ‘Sweet Feet’ when he gets going like that. He made a guy miss and then broke two tackles and was physical. You could feel it and it definitely brings a lot of juice to our sideline and to our team.”


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