Davante Adams is the key for the Green Bay Packers

Green Bay has been the 800 lb gorilla on the mountain in the NFC North for many years –  with division titles and a dominant record vs the conference. And they have also had more than their share of great players walk through their locker rooms. But, as we all know, at the end of the day, there is a guy who has been the standout for the team. The player who has been the one who is the one who always shows up – regardless of who they are playing – what the odds are and when the game s being played. Green Bay has had more than their share of amazing success in the NFL for many seasons, with NFC North division championships, multitude of Hall of Famers, and of course their titles –  they have been very fortunate on the offensive side of the ball, in particular.
The Packers have a legendary history, littered with a ton of great guys who have been explosive playmakers. They have had their fortunate share of historic QBs – and most recently, Aaron Rodgers. But beyond the guys throwing the ball, who make teams pay with the one handed catch and the tough across the middle catch, off double coverage, knowing they are getting drilled when touching the ball. The gutsy guys who spread the game downfield, the ones who break your back, when you think you have the team baked into a corner, make the play.
Davante Adams had a great season in 2016 with his “out of nowhere” 12 TDs and the ability to force coverage’s for other players on the field. The 26 year old WR has not been easy to bump off the line, with his size and aggressive style – especially when he gets moving with his natural physicality. With 72 receptions and 9 TDs so far this season – Adams, has been more than enough to handle at WR for anyone in 2018. While lighting up teams for 95 receiving yd/game, as well as 7 catches/game he is a treat to watch. And is making is it difficult in a feisty division where teams have some quality DBs and strong pass defensive schemes. The 26 yr old has had 221 receptions in the last 3 years of his career with the Pack. He has also chewed up 2835 yards and an awesome 31 receiving touchdowns in those same 3 years.
Adams has given more than his share of fits to opposing DBs to teams. His good route running and gritty competitiveness being his top strengths to get the fans excited and helping lead his team to the ever crucial division wins. He oftentimes, finds himself being the guy that the Pack can look to get the ball in his hands when they’ve got to get something going. Davante has been the sparkplug in that passing offense. Standing out with his ability to crack a double team – as well as his sure handedness when the ball is in his hands. Having had 16 games with 80 or more receiving yards over just the last 3 seasons –  speaks volumes on many different aspects. Most recently, in the 11.15.2018 game vs Seattle, even though they lost with shoddy defense, and playing a top ended unit – when the chips were down, he, of course, came up with the big plays with 166 receiving yards.
Adams has proven that time and time again, when things gets tough and the team desperately needs the sure first down or the big catch deep downfield – he has shown he will always be there for them to get the job done. And his QB always trusts his guy to get the play when needed – as shown by his massive target absorption. Whether its by a quick slant or post – Davante Adams is the real deal for GB. The Packers would love to see that continued leadership and growth out of Davante – and every off-season, he keeps showing himself as a leader and a true professional. He has always shown that for the Green Bay organization. He is a guy who can straight up win games, when someone needs to step up and make the big play to turn the tide of the game, Adams is always there doing something, that opponents were thinking was impossible.

Top 5 receiving crews heading into the 2018 NFL season

As we know, the game has gone in the direction of being a QB league, with QBs putting up insane passing yards, that are mind-boggling. Changes always come around, and we are living through a very explosive offensive game these days. QB receiver connections are critical. This is indeed a hard time for DBs – to see if they can try to avoid getting twisted around on a crossing route or getting “too handsy” and giving up stupid penalties when trying to keep these teams under control with their deadly receiving combinations they will throw at them.
Some teams made some huge and exciting changes, adding great players, and on paper, look to have all the right pieces. But, there are always some trepidations, a few of the other potentially lethal receiving corps are;
The Cleveland Browns
With signing WR Jarvis Landry, and Dez Bryant, they added other talented players who get to work with exceptionally talented, but oft-troubled, Josh Gordon, the team could have a wicked receiving crew.
The Los Angeles Rams
Adding perennial open fielder, Brandin Cooks, who comes off a 16.6 YD/catch season with Robert Woods and excellent route runner, Cooper Kupp is going to be interesting.
The Green Bay Packers
Underrated WR Davante Adams just had another 10 TD season, add in a still dangerous, Jimmy Graham, and his 10 TD potential, with “perfect WR3” Randall Cobb, and his spot as the short option for future HoF’er, Aaron Rodgers…it could easily be a 35+ TD season for ARod.
But, they didn’t make the top 5.
So with that said, here we go to the teams that will, without a doubt, be your top 5…
5. Detroit Lions
With an excellent combined YDs / catch at 15.3 ypc with 2 of their top 3 receivers who can move the chains fast, in Marvin Jones Jr and Kenny Golladay – but Golladay is still just a 1 route guy, Golden Tate is a magnificent slot WR. Tate doesn’t have a dual real threat at TE across the middle, Stafford seems like he just throws the ball in his direction, and expects him to make the play. But they just keep giving steady results.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
With Big Ben firing the ball around, it makes some things better for these guys. The TE position is very weak but they have a real nice thing going with their WRs, and are led by their strong and very skilled WRs. We start with the best WR in the NFL, Antonio Brown, who is a yard producer, and TD producer, 21 year old JuJu Smith-Schuster brings big play ability and yard production. We all know AB is going to be dominant, regardless if he is double teamed or not. He is the best route runner, and to be honest, there is nothing he cannot do on the field. With AB on the other side, the sky is the limit for JuJu Smith-Schuster to get even better.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Case Keenum led this team at QB in 2017 with 22 TD passes. Let that sink in for a few brief moments. Between these three, they tallied 17 TDs between these guys, accounting for 77% of his 22 TD passes, in games he was throwing the ball. A career journeyman QB was better because of their outstanding WR play. They also have the benefit with experienced youth on their side. Target magnet, Adam Thielen, is only 27 , Stefon Diggs is 24, and the oldest guy, Kyle Rudolph, is 28. Adam and Diggs will return to their WRA, and WRA2 form and show why they are one of the best WR tandems to deal with. They can dominate secondaries in every aspect of the game. Now with 27+TD/year QB, Kirk Cousins throwing the ball, teams better be very careful, when they pick their poison.
2. New York Giants
Massive yardage ready to go.
Truly ridiculous skills here with this crew of receivers, with Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram. TE Evan Engram is on brink of being next bigtime TE. Firstly, we have to remember, OBJ one of the best WR in league, with 3 seasons of 1300 or more YDs, and 12 TDs/year average when healthy. Sterling Shepard is a great pass catcher, and route runner out of the slot, as he showed when had 8 TDs when OBJ was outside of him in 2016. Evan Engram is a 240 lb TE with incredible athleticism and unique way of exploding to the middle of the field, and he finds the end zone. And with Beckham getting back to the field, the Giants wont have to heavily rely on the younger guys as much, which is scary.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Here is the big shocker for the list.
This squad is led by ultra speed demon, Tyreek Hill, who lit up defenders for 15.8 YPC, and 1183 yards, including 9 games of averaging 17 ypc or more. Their TE, Travis Kelce, is the best TE in the league now, can we all just admit this yet? Gronk is no longer exclusively “the TE” – Travis Kelce has replaced him. Sammy Watkins and his instinctive nose for the end zone was shown in spades when playing for the Rams last year, with no other top notch WR to take eyes off of him. Now, in KC, Sammy Watkins will be able to move around a little more freely, with Tyreek Hill taking the top off things, which is absolutely going to be terrifying for DBs. Because Sammy isnt a slow WR, by any means, with career YPC numbers of 15.9 – he also generates serious speed. Hill has already shown that he can be a top weapon as he had 1183 yards last year with career “game manager” Alex Smith throwing to him. It will be huge for Mahomes’ development to be able to throw the ball to these guys in 2018. So expect big things from Hill and this crew this NFL Football season

​Which NFL team has the best WR tandem in 2017

In Green Bay – when healthy, anyone with eyes and common sense could say Adams & Jordy can easily be called the best when they are on the field. 26 TDs and 2254 YDs between them in 2016 certainly makes a strong case for them to be called the best WR tandem. But, this season, under some extenuating circumstances, they have just an avg of around 48 YD/game between them and only a handful of combined big plays so far, for Green Bay takes them quickly out of the discussion for this season.
In 2016 everyone was all about Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. A couple of players who have both shown their awesome skills when playing. In 2017 – Crabtree has put up only 601 yards receiving and Cooper is adding just 42 YDs/game. Not great numbers to me. TE Jared Cook is leading the team in receiving yards, 1st downs, and YDs/catch for any player with 25 or more for the team.
What happened? The Oakland OC Todd Downing – messed up the Raiders offense up in a strange way this year. Cooper can play like a man against boys, at times on the field, with his skills and speed. For fans who don’t like Crabtree – will always find a low end flaw – but honestly they are ignoring his skillset. Solid, it is not even close how steady he has been, and you can’t ignore the 30 year old’s career numbers.
How about mentioning DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller? Hopkins is getting 94 YDs/game.  And Fuller is chipping in with 16/YPC. The huge advantage that Hopkins has over many top WRs is really very obvious to me. As we all have seen this WR play with 10+ different QBs in 5 seasons, and continue to put up 1000 YD seasons and produce TDs. One genuinely could argue the case that Hopkins isnt truly one of the top 3 WRs in the league. He is the biggest and the most serious difference maker on a Houston team when it comes to wide receivers. Hopkins always makes his QBs better, and Fuller is that 15+ YPC guy that every team needs.
Philly has a pretty nasty combo in Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Yes – it was just 1 year ago, no one cared about Agholor. When he came out of USC, he was watched with very lofty expectations, including by myself. After only 36 receptions and just a pitiful 10.1 YD/catch – along with a huge dropsy problem – it was getting easy to toss him by the wayside thinking he was just yet another WR bust. Not so fast. In 2017 – Agholor has gotten the Eagles a 52 YDs /game, and Jeffery has been nothing but excellent with his nose for the end zone. And if we are being honest – no team has really stopped them. Maybe not the biggest numerical WRs in the game, but they have been unstoppable as a tandem so far. Alshon is one of the strongest WRs in the league, at 6-4 and 230lbs, he seems to find a way to catch the ball at the 10 and can drag it along another 3-4 more yards, with DBs draped on him.
But, Minnesota has some special things going on up North, in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. They have a few guys who have been nothing but a blessing for OC Pat Shurmur. With 9 games of 90 YDs receiving or more between them, they both have awesome and precise route running and loading up a hefty total average of about 145 YPG – how can it be possible to look passed these deadly Minnesota WRs?
Thielen has been more productive in yards than the high priced Jeffery, and Diggs has been far more productive than big prospect Cooper this season. We are looking about play production. On a back to the wall situation, 3rd and long, :05 seconds left – your going to want Diggs and Thielen getting open for your team. No disrespect to any of the other WRs listed and many other excellent players, but I am going with these 2 based on their ability to split DBs, and find the pockets to get the ball. They are also really good blockers. They are guys that are playing with a QB in Case Keenum who before this 2017 season, was averaging just 6.7 YPA and around 205 YDs passing/game. One could argue he has turned the game around and the game has finally slowed down for him after 6 seasons, yes. But, for the sake of argument, lets also consider the fact that in 2017 – Keenum is throwing for 20 TDs and around 248 YPG, based on his WR threats.
When Diggs is in the game – it allows Adam to get more one on one coverage – which means more opportunity. Thielen is a true student of the game (which is always a great respectful thing to see) and seems to also be very well liked by his teammates. Which says a lot for his personality to go along with the “Great Adam Thielen story”.Thielen has the best hands in the league, in my opinion – and he is an unbelievable route runner and clutch performer.  With 12 games with 5 or more catches and 7 games of 10+ targets this season for the Vikes. As well as Diggs running great routes, which are always crisp and clean. When Diggs came out of Maryland – he was not seen as a genuine WR1 but he has shown with hard work and determination, a player can succeed. No one has been able to really shut down this combination. As they have stacked up a total of 10 games of averaging 15+ YDs/catch between them.
After so many recent years of 2 yard swing passes and running the ball for what seemed like 40 carries/game – Minnesota has something very special going on Diggs and Thielen have arrived, at just 24 and 27 years old, their assault on DBs should stay around for many, many seasons to come, bringing many happy seasons to Minnesota fans. As long as they stay healthy, and the Vikes keep the play calling as good as it has been, these guys are the beast of the NFL.

The Best of the NFL

Pats

The pro football season kicks off on Thursday when the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots host the high flying passing offense of Steelers. The Pats have Tom Brady back as they take on Pitt.
The NFC has won four of the last six Super Bowls (it could have been 5 of 6 if the Seahawks had called a run on second down), but the AFC has won 11 of the last 18. Here is a look at some of the best of the NFL.

Packers: In an age of passing the football the Packers are deadly, 8th in passing with 266.3 yds pg behind 31-year old QB Aaron Rodgers (38 TDs, 5 INTs) and his 4,381 yards. They actually have a great ground attack, too, ranked 11th in rushing behind RB Eddie Lacy, tops in the NFL with 30.4 points per game last fall. Speedy WR Randall Cobb is a great assett, but the loss of star WR Jordy Nelson in preseason was a shocker. This offense will be still be explosive, but will they take a step back?

At least the young defense keeps getting better, 10th against the pass, 23rd against the run. They welcome back NT B.J. Raji from an injury and will continue to move LB Clay Matthews inside, a trick that improved the run defense late last season. A pair of top draft picks add depth to the secondary, so this Packers team looks armed and dangerous for 2015. Think they’ve worked on defending the on-side kick?

Broncos: Last round up for 39-year old Peyton Manning? This team was second in the NFL in points (30.1 ppg) after Green Bay, as Manning slid a bit to 39 TDs, 15 INTs, 4,727 yards. They finished 4th in passing (291 yards per game), 15th in rushing and return 27-year old WR Demaryius Thomas (1,619 yards), WR Emmanuel Sanders (1,404 yards) and pick up TE Owen Daniels.
However, changes are in store with Gary Kubiak taking over. He brings in zone-blocking, something he learned from Mike Shanahan when the two were in Denver, plus the GM insists on becoming more balanced. They’ve added rookie depth on the offensive line, but had a tough summer blow with the loss of T Ryan Clady, already done for the year. The defense has star power, too. Denver was 10-7 over the total last year, part of a sizzling 29-16-1 over the total run, 33-19-2 over since Peyton got here.

NY Giants: A bounce back year for the Giants? Despite a 6-10 campaign QB Eli Manning actually had a strong season with 30 TDs, 14 INTs. The Giants dealt with a ton of injuries. They have been using high draft picks on the offensive line the last few years and appear to have that fixed, as Manning was sacked 28 times. To improve the run game they took rookie guard Ereck Flowers 9th overall (Miami, FL).

 

Manning has exceptional targets with Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham (1,305 yards) and Reuben Randall (938). The defense was good at getting after the passer (47 sacks) but at a cost of ignoring the run, something new DC Steve Spagnuolo will focus on. He was defensive coordinator in 2007 when they won the title. The secondary was hit hardest by injuries and adds second-rounder safety Landon Collins (Alabama).

Seahawks: It’s amazing how one wacky play can change everything. Instead of Tom Brady losing 3 straight Super Bowls he’s now got 4, in company with Bradshaw and Montana. And the Seahawks should have been celebrating all summer, coming to camp being asked about their chances of winning 3 straight titles, last accomplished by Vince Lombardi’s Packers.
Instead, Malcolm Butler’s interception unleashed floodgates of shock and disharmony in Seattle. Russell Wilson and Mike Bennett not content with contract offers, a LB saying he’s leaving after this season, and the coaching staff/play-calling under fire. Despite these distractions, the Seahawks still have the most talented roster in the NFL. The defense is loaded, ranked No. 1 the last two years, while the run-first offense (most of the time, that is) retained RB Marshawn Lynch (1,306 yards), who hinted at retirement. The Super Bowl ending was shocking, but a return trip to the NFC title game for this group would not be.

Patriots: And speaking of tumultuous offseasons…The defending champs lost their two starting CBs and will be without 38-year old QB Tom Brady (33 TDs, 9 INTs) the first four games. However, in a weak AFC this team still will be a force. The passing attack is loaded with TE Rob Gronkowski (1,124), Julian Edleman, Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola.
The offensive line gets even better with Florida State guard Tre Jackson and the defensive line adds first-round pick NT Malcolm Brown, a nice surprise expected to go higher. That leaves only the secondary for Bill Belichick to focus on, which lost star power and a lot of depth. Don’t underestimate this group, as Trent Dilfer did last September when the Chiefs bombed them 41-14 (“The Patriots aren’t good anymore.”)

Written by Jim Feist for VegasTopDogs.com

What Eddie Lacy brings to the Packers

What does Eddie Lacy do to help the Packers heading into 2013 season? He will most certainly improve their offense in numerous fashions.

The Pack have had more than their share of woeful running seasons recently. In 2012 the Packers scored 27 ppg, went 11-5 and were an absolute wreck running the rock.

They ran the ball 433 times on the season, 16th in the league last year, scored only 9 rushing TDs (25th in the league), and 2 which were by Rodgers, an insignificant and miserable 3.9 YPC. Their leading rusher was 24 year old Alex Green who carried the ball for only 464 yds and a diminutive 3.4 YPC, with, naturally, 0 TDs. Whom also never broke 70 YDs in a game. Not to knock on Mr Green, but let’s put it as one, he’s certainly not the back the Pack are looking for. He also barely carried the ball, 20+ in a game, only 3 times last season.

In steps Eddie Lacy, out of the SEC and Alabama. A power back, at 235 lbs of might, his last season in Bama was outstanding, pounding the ball for 1322 yds, a tremendous 6.5 avg. and 17 TDs.

His coming in Wisconsin will largely improve Rodgers obviously as well. Defenses cannot just keep firing away their front 7 to rush Rodgers every play now. This will keep defense much more sincere. Currently and for the last several seasons Rodgers has not had a back to hit out of the backfield either, don’t get me wrong Lacy isn’t a chief dual threat back like the Forte’s and the Darren Sproles of the league. But with Green catching only 18 out of the backfield last year, for a paltry 10 ypg, I think this will also get better.

When the Pack won the superbowl, in 2010, they still didn’t have a monster back carrying them. They were led by modest Brandon Jackson and his 703 yds, scoring only 3 TDs, and an even worse 3.7 avg, but he did have 43 receptions, he was good out of the backfield. But I think Lacy has the ability to be a 40+ catch back, and be productive.

Lacy is not a characteristic receiving back, but, as stated, he is a punisher. He is a brute who can gradually break down a defense throughout the game. But the Pack need to stay patient with the running attack, and will they be able to, because as long as they do, this will help them as a whole. The key to me is going to be a tandem of the defense having to manage Lacy, and then being forced to deal with Jermichael Finley. Lacy will be plugging along and I expect a big workload for him in 2013 for the Pack. He can haul the pile forward and get the grimy yards that most back aren’t fond of. He’s hard to bring down, as a solid mass.

The only flaw I have with Lacy, is he can be inclined to be hit or miss, when on, he’s amazing and can demolish teams. But in the same way, when off, he can get bottled. He has had those games where he has disappeared. At any rate, he is still better than what they have now to work with now.

He has a nose for the endzone, in ‘Bama, 9 of the 14 games he scored, including 5 games with 2+ TDs. He’s a lot to deal with on the field. If they can get this whole thing clicking, the Pack will make a serious run at a Superbowl in 2013.

Regardless, it looks like Rodgers won’t have to be in the shotgun on 3rd and 1 any longer. It appears the Pack may have found their man; we can call him “The Big Cheese.”

Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com