Following the jaw-dropping game Davante Adams put together in the 2020 Divisional Round against the Seattle Seahawks, it’s time to take a closer look at where he ranks all-time in franchise history at the wide receiver position.
One thing is certain, he’s an absolute star.
In the 2019 regular season, Adams put up 997 receiving yards on 83 receptions despite missing four games to a turf-toe injury and playing through that injury upon his return. The Packers went 13-3, won the NFC North and earned the right to host a playoff game at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay defeated the Seahawks 28-23, thanks in large part to Adams’s big day, and are moving on to the NFC Conference Championship Game against San Francisco.
The history of the Green Bay Packers is vast expansive and ever-evolving. This is especially true at the wide receiver position. It makes sense that the Packers’ history at wide receiver is incredible, given the transcendent quarterbacks this franchise has employed over the years. From Arnie Herber and Bart Starr to Brett Favre and Rodgers, no franchise can come close to the Packers at the quarterback position.
However it’s humbling to think about the fact that we may be currently, in real time, witnessing the greatest postseason quarterback-wide receiver combination in franchise history.
Davante Adams is on an historic tear at the position for the Packers, with Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball. Their chemistry and connection is so obvious it gives us chills.
As a rookie Adams raised his level of play in the playoffs, showing for the first time that he had the ability to develop into a star. He recorded seven receptions, 117 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Cowboys in 2015 in his first playoff game. Against the Seahawks in 2020 he again was at his best when it mattered the most.
There’s no doubt that Adams has been the Packers’ only consistently effective wide receiver all year. Week after week teams have game-planned to take him out of the game and he is still delivering. Adams has no “protection” of a legitimate second receiver to keep defenses honest. Unlike DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones who have other proven wide receivers on their team.
Rodgers has total faith in Adams and Adams has earned every bit of Rodgers’s trust. No receiver has had this chemistry with Rodgers since Jordy Nelson, although this tandem may be even better.
Adams is the best route-runner in the NFL right now, bar none, and may be the best in team history. That, along with his physical skills and intelligence, has made him dominant.
With that said, the numbers tell the story better than we can, so lets dive into the facts right away.
Minimum five postseason starts to be ranked here. Players from the 1960s-2020s represented.
The Top 11 Postseason Wide Receivers in Green Bay Packers history, Statistically Speaking:
1. Davante Adams: 0.85 touchdowns per game (6 in 7 games), 78.4 receiving yards per game, 5.14 receptions per game. Zero fumbles in six postseason starts. Zero rings (so far). QB: Rodgers.
2. Antonio Freeman: 0.71 touchdowns per game (10 in 14 games), 53.4 receiving yards per game, 3.35 receptions per game. Two fumbles in 10 postseason starts. One ring. QB: Favre.
3. Greg Jennings: 0.60 touchdowns per game (6 in 10 games), 67.3 receiving yards per game, 5 receptions per game. One fumble in eight postseason starts. One ring. QB: Favre and Rodgers.
4. Carroll Dale: 0.37 touchdowns per game (3 in 8 games), 66.8 receiving yards per game, 3.62 receptions per games. One fumble in eight postseason starts. Three rings. QB: Starr.
5. Randall Cobb: 0.45 touchdowns per game (5 in 11 games), 54.2 receiving yards per game, 4.27 receptions per game. Two fumbles in 10 postseason starts. Zero rings. QB: Rodgers.
6. Jordy Nelson: 0.38 touchdowns per game (5 in 13 games), 51.4 receiving yards per game, 4.15 receptions per game. One fumble in eight postseason starts. One ring. QB: Rodgers.
7. Robert Brooks: 0.36 touchdowns per game (4 in 11 games), 59.2 receiving yards per game, 4.09 receptions per game. Zero fumbles in nine postseason starts. One ring, although he was injured for that playoff run. QB: Favre.
8. Boyd Dowler: 0.45 touchdowns per game (5 in 11 games), 40 receiving yards per game, 2.72 receptions per game. Zero fumbles in 10 postseason starts. Five rings. QB: Starr.
9. Donald Driver: 0.20 touchdowns per game (3 in 15 games), 45 receiving yards per game, 3.26 receptions per game. One fumble in nine postseason starts. One ring. QB: Favre and Rodgers.
10. James Jones: 0.30 touchdowns per game (4 in 13 games), 37.8 receiving yards per game, 2.69 receptions per game. Zero fumbles in six postseason starts. One ring. QB: Rodgers.
11. Max McGee: 0.50 touchdowns per game (4 in 8 games), 29.1 receiving yards per game, 1.5 receptions per game. One fumble in eight postseason starts. Five rings. QB: Starr.
Davante Adams is currently averaging 3.85 first downs per postseason game played. Here’s how he compares to some of the other best in Packers history.
Greg Jennings: 3.0
Jordy Nelson: 2.92
Antonio Freeman: 2.54
Randall Cobb: 2.45
There isn’t a single postseason metric where Adams isn’t absolutely dominant. His 66.7% catch percentage is elite throughout franchise history, too.
Davante Adams currently has the all-time franchise record for postseason receptions per game, receiving yards per game and receiving touchdowns per game (minimum three games played). Of course that can change over time in either direction, up or down. But for now, he deserves all of the credit in the world.
He’s a gamer.
It’s incredible because in the 2020 Divisional Round contest against Seattle he was the only true downfield receiving threat and he still beat the defense for arguably the best postseason game of any Packers receiver all-time. He recorded eight receptions, two touchdowns and a record 160 receiving yards and caught a crucial third down pass to help put the game on ice.
Again, this was despite the Seahawks keying in on Adams specifically. He overcame that attention and made huge play after huge play.
Will he retire as the Packers’ greatest postseason receiver, overall and on a per-game basis? That remains to be seen, but we can’t wait to find out.
Greg Jennings was incredibly productive for the Packers in the postseason. Had he chosen legacy over money and stayed in Green Bay for a few more years, his legend would be a lot larger in the state of Wisconsin. He is one of the top three postseason receivers in this franchise’s 100 year history. That says quite a bit.
Most people would have thought that Donald Driver would be higher on this list, but overall he was consistent in the playoffs — just not dominant. Kind of like his entire career. However all three of his postseason touchdowns came in losses. Twice he scored against the New York Football Giants in a playoff game, only to lose (including a 90 yard pass from Brett Favre).
Driver’s touchdown against Atlanta in the Packers’ first ever postseason loss at Lambeau Field, was incredible because he played that game with one arm, literally.
Carroll Dale is the most underrated receiver in Packers history. There, we said it. He was a true deep threat in an era of less passing.
How many people would have guessed that Randall Cobb was, statistically, a more productive postseason receiver than Jordy Nelson? The gap is narrow, but it’s there. It’s interesting how the facts contradict popular opinion time and time again throughout Packers history.
Antonio Freeman is still, overall, the Packers’ all-time greatest playoff receiver because of his ability to step up in multiple Super Bowls. That just has to count for something. And he kept his productivity over a 14 game stretch). Statistically though, Adams is ahead of him.
Maybe Davante Adams can surpass him in overall impact; hopefully he will. He is certainly on pace to surpass him simply because of his consistent statistical dominance at the position.
The history of the Green Bay Packers at the wide receiver position is incredible and vast. And Davante Adams is, currently, the best of the bunch in the postseason on a per-game statistical basis.
This is inarguable at this point.
Other Great Wide Receivers in Packers History:
Many other receivers have had great success in Green Bay from the 1920s-Present Day, but just didn’t have as many opportunities as the men listed above.
Sterling Sharpe, Brett Favre’s first great receiver, has to be mentioned, although he only got to play in two postseason games in his career. In those two games he caught 11 passes for four touchdowns for 229 yards. He was unbelievable. Had he not gotten hurt, he’d likely be atop this list.
Similarly, James Lofton has to be talked about, too. In just two postseason games with the Packers he caught eight passes for two touchdowns and 161 yards. He also ran for 58 yards and a touchdown in that two game stretch. Legendary. He had Lynn Dickey throwing to him.
Also in case you were wondering, Don Hutson caught 10 balls for one touchdown and 163 yards in five postseason games played (four starts). But he did help his Packers win three World Championships. Hutson caught passes from Hall of Fame quarterback Arnie Herber and the also dominant Cecil Isbell.
All-time great Billy Howton was a star in the 1950s for the lowly Packers, but never got to play in the postseason because of the ineffectiveness of the team as a whole. In our opinion, this kept him from The Hall. Tobin Rote, who arguably should also be in the Hall of Fame, threw to him.
LaVern Dilweg played in an era before postseason football was around, so his career statistics do not have any postseason games to go along with them. Still, was on the team for three World Championships. Arnie Herber was the best quarterback he played with.
An interesting name in Packers history is Andre Rison. In just three games with the Packers (en route to a Super Bowl championship) Rison caught seven passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. He was on the team for about two months in the mid 1990s, but made the absolute most of it. Obviously Favre threw to him.
In two games in 1982, John Jefferson caught eight balls for 188 yards and two touchdowns in just two postseason games. Great production in a limited opportunity. He was Lofton’s parter in crime and also had Dickey throwing to him.
The enigma of a receiver Javon Walker, despite not catching a postseason touchdown in his career, averaged 3.25 receptions and a whopping 71.5 yards per game in his four postseason games in Green Bay. Too bad he couldn’t show the maturity needed to be a true star player for Favre’s offense.
Alright Packer Nation, we’ve ranked or mentioned 19 of the best postseason receivers in the history of the Green Bay Packers. Where did your favorite Packers receiver land on this all-time list? Any surprises?
Do you think Davante Adams can continue his dominance in the coming weeks and years?
We sure as hell do.
Up next: San Francisco with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The Green Bay Packers need Adams to be just as special next week. If he can step up, again, his legend will only grow.
This has been such a fun season, no matter how it ends.
Say it with us now… Go Pack Go!