Confidence is everything for a professional athlete, and it certainly sounds like Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams is suffering in that department after a string of forgettable games.
Despite receiving 35 targets over the last three games, Adams has produced just 129 yards and zero touchdowns for the struggling Packers passing offense. He hit rock bottom against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving night, as he dropped a would-be touchdown, caused an interception with an unfinished route and failed to grab Aaron Rodgers’ last ditch effort on the game’s final fourth down.
Now, the Packers must work on repairing the second-year receiver’s broken confidence.
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“My role is just to continue to keep building him up,” receiver Randall Cobb said, via ESPN. “So many people are trying to tear him down. So many people are trying to come between what we have going here. Just got to make sure that he knows that he’s a very important piece to our offense and to our success. Just making sure he keeps his confidence, doesn’t lose his confidence.”
Adams entered 2015 with sky-high expectations. He exploded for a handful of huge games as a rookie, including a 121-yard breakout against the New England Patriots and a 117-yard effort during Green Bay’s Divisional Round win over the Dallas Cowboys. The 2014 second-round pick looked like another one of general manager Ted Thompson’s receiving gems, especially after he blew up the offseason program and then assumed a bigger role in the Rodgers-led passing game when star Jordy Nelson went down with an ACL injury to begin the preseason.
Nothing about the 2015 season has gone smoothly for Adams. He’s injured his ankle on at least three different occasions, while the Packers have struggled to throw the football despite having a two-time MVP at quarterback.
Through 12 weeks, Rodgers has completed just 32 of 64 attempts to Adams, with zero touchdowns and a targeted passer rating of 61.8. The two have connected on just two plays over 20 yards, and no receiver has more targets without a touchdown this season.
The continued struggles are starting to erode the self-assuredness of the young receiver.
“It’s hard to let it go because when it really means a lot to you, you’re so passionate about the game and each opportunity, and I really value every time the ball is thrown to me, so it’s hard to let it go,” Adams said. “You really want to have that, they call it the DB mentality, just let it go and go to the next play. Forget about it. But it’s hard, especially when I really care about it. You try to, but I’m trying to do my best to, so I can go out there and have a great year.”
The Packers absolutely need for Adams to become a playmaker if Green Bay is to snap out of its offensive funk. Rodgers will continue to pepper him with targets in the passing game, mostly out of necessity. It’s time for Adams to start rewarding his quarterback’s trust with the big plays and consistency the Green Bay offense desperately requires. In the end, confidence might be the key to the revival of both Adams and the Packers.