Upon Further Review: Packers offense just fine without Davante Adams

For most NFL offenses, losing a wide receiver as good as Davante Adams would be a significant problem.

Apparently it wasn’t for the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay (3-0) had no trouble moving the ball and piled up 369 total yards in its 37-30 road win over the New Orleans Saints (1-2).

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New Orleans went up and down the field too, but the Packers made up for it with no turnovers and an offensive attack that distributed the ball well.

Aaron Rodgers went 21-of-32 for 283 yards and three touchdowns. His main target was wide receiver Allen Lazard, who had six catches for 146 yards and a score.

Green Bay needed their efforts. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns while do-it-all running back Alvin Kamara had six rushes for 58 yards and 13 receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns, one of which was a ridiculous display of ability.

The win kept Green Bay at the top of the NFC North along with the 3-0 Chicago Bears.

Here’s a recap of Sunday’s game (STORY | PHOTOS):

 

PLAYER OF THE GAME

You’ve got to go with Rodgers here. The veteran signal-caller threw darts all night and completed 66% of his throws. He consistently placed the ball in the right spots and gave his pass catchers chances to gain yards after the catch, including this sick throw to Marcedes Lewis.

Rodgers found Lewis and tight ends Robert Tonyan and Jace Sternberger nine times for 104 yards and two touchdowns, which is a great way to fill some of the production lost by Adams’ absence.

 

DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME

Za’Darius Smith finished with two tackles in the Packers’ win and none was more important than his forced fumble early in the fourth quarter. Shortly after Green Bay was stopped on fourth down, New Orleans had the ball on the Packers’ 41-yard line with 12:25 left in regulation.

It was second down with three yards to go, and Saints’ quarterback Taysom Hill’s plans to run for a first down were violently interrupted when an unblocked Smith stormed into the backfield and tackled Hill, forcing the ball onto the turf for only a second before it was recovered by Smith.

The Packers only gained 26 yards on their next drive, but it was enough for a 49-yard Mason Crosby field goal that gave Green Bay the lead.

 

THAT MOMENT

The Packers faced a third-and-3 on New Orleans’ 15-yard line with 3:49 on the clock. Rodgers predictably forced the Saints to jump offsides and then threw to Lazard in the end zone, who might have caught the pass if he was not being interfered with.

Rodgers found Tonyan in the end zone a few plays later, thanks to the pass inference penalty gave the Packers the ball on the one-yard line.

It was another perfectly executed third-down call by Rodgers and a great job by Lazard to draw the pass inference penalty. Had the Packers not converted on third down, they most likely would have kicked a field goal to go up 33-27. Instead, those Saints penalties helped Green Bay make it a two-score game.

 

THIS NUMBER

24.3 — That is Lazard’s yards per catch on Sunday. The 6-foot-5 Iowa State product looked promising at the end of last season, but who knew if it would translate. Well, it has translated better than the Rosetta Stone because Lazard is a serious deep threat and a jump ball nightmare for NFL cornerbacks. More importantly, he clearly has a good connection with Rodgers.

 

THEY SAID IT

“We have the best deep ball thrower in the league if not NFL history.” — wide receiver Allen Lazard on Rodgers

“He came up with the play of the game that really kind of swung it in our favor.” — head coach Matt LaFleur on Smith’s forced fumble

“I really appreciate the flow that we had tonight and the trust in us to make the plays.” — quarterback Aaron Rodgers son the offensive game plan

 

UP NEXT

The Packers host the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football in Week 4. While Green Bay will aim to remain unbeaten, Atlanta will be looking for its first win after blowing fourth-quarter leads in its last two games.