Ever wondered what happens to your favorite Packers players of years past? Sure, we all know where they ended up, but how are they performing? Old Friends seeks to answer that question and more, with a quick look around the league each week at what former Packers players are up to, how they’re playing, and how things have changed since their time in the green and gold. With a little bit of research and a heaping dose of nostalgia, Old Friends will reminisce on the good times, the bad times, and the times you may have simply forgotten about altogether. So sit back, relax, and catch up with your pals as they succeed in the second, third, or even fourth acts of their careers.
This week’s Old Friends includes the usual suspects, with Jamaal Williams playing a role in the Lions’ upset over the Packers, and Davante Adams having a first half to remember against the Jaguars. Taysom Hill, a mainstay on this list throughout the season, was unable to get anything going in the Saints’ drubbing at the hands of the Ravens on Monday night. Finally, a relative newcomer to the list Blake Martinez had his best game of the season in Vegas.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions
Jamaal Williams continued to act as the engine for the Lions’ offense in week 9. With D’Andre Swift’s touches and snaps decreasing after his return from injury, Williams acted as the bell cow with 24 carries for 81 yards. On Detroit’s first touchdown drive, Williams carried the rock five times and punched in the two-point conversion. On the day, he rushed for four first downs. As Dan Campbell put it this week, “He’s as steady as they come.”
Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
Davante Adams recorded his second game of 17 targets for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022 and it resulted in his finest performance this season. After three weeks of single-digit targets, Josh McDaniels ran the “Force it to Davante” offense in the first half of the Raiders’ game against the Jaguars. Despite only one catch in the second half, Adams finished with 10 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns and fueled Derek Carr’s first game over 250 yards since week three. Unfortunately for the Raiders, the 17 on Adams’ jersey may be tough to look at for the foreseeable future, as the team blew a 17-point lead and lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars; the third time this season they’ve blown a lead of that size. Only two other teams, the 2020 Los Angeles Chargers, and the 2003 Atlanta Falcons have as many blown leads of that size according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Christian Kirksey, LB, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans put up a valiant effort against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night football in a game that most expected to be a bloodbath. Christian Kirksey tallied seven tackles, marking his fifth game of the season with as much. With the game still tied 14-14 in the third quarter, Kirksey recorded a TFL on a Miles Sanders run, forcing the Eagles to punt in what would be the Texans’ last moments of competing in the game.
Blake Martinez, LB, Las Vegas Raiders
Blake Martinez was in the news last week for his burgeoning side hustle of selling Pokémon cards, and this week he put together his best game as a Raider. Linebacker Divine Deablo, one of the NFL’s leading tacklers, was carted off early in this one which cleared the way for Martinez to see his highest snap count of the season. After seeing no more than 20 snaps in a game this season, Martinez played 91% of the Raiders’ defensive snaps and tallied 11 tackles while filling in admirably for the team’s starter. The Raiders placed Deablo on IR this week with a forearm injury and Martinez will certainly see increased playing time in his extended absence.
That’s it for week 9’s Old Friends! With injuries piling up and former Packers getting increased opportunities as the season wears on, we’re sure to see some new faces in the coming weeks. For now, the stalwarts can hold it down just fine. Be sure to check back next week for another update, and don’t forget to join us at halftime of this Sunday’s game against the Cowboys on Twitter Spaces @acmepackingco as we break down all the action.