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Packers Top Plays of 2021, no. 3: Davante Adams sets up the game-winner in San Francisco

A helmet to helmet hit could not stop Davante Adams from rising like The Undertaker and handing the 49ers a loss.

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NFL: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Each year, Acme Packing Company’s writers vote for the Green Bay Packers’ top plays of the previous season. Our votes are based on the impact of the play, spectacular individual or team effort, or sheer amusement value we compile the votes to list out the top ten plays. Join us over a two-week span as we count down from 10 to 1 in the Packers’ Top Plays of 2021.

After taking a look at Jaire Alexander covering the field for an INT with our no. 4 play yesterday, we move on to our 3rd ranked play, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams’ connection to set up the winning field goal against San Francisco in week 3. In arguably the most thrilling game of the Packers’ season, a back and forth second half set Rodgers and co. up for their usual heroics, despite having blown a 17-0 first-half lead.

The Game

After a convincing win against Detroit in week 2 washed away the bad taste of a week 1 loss to the Saints, the Packers set their sights on the first game against an NFC contender. Trips out west hadn’t served the Packers well up to this point, and San Francisco was playing in their home opener.

This game began the Packers’ NFC West slate for the season and notched their first victory in what would turn out to be a sweep of the division. The 49ers were coming off narrow wins against the Lions and Eagles to kick the season off and looking for a statement win to establish themselves as contenders.

The Situation

The Packers scored on their first two possessions to jump out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. After trading punts, Green Bay was unable to capitalize on the aforementioned incredible interception by Jaire Alexander, but after forcing a 49ers punt, the Packers drove 87 yards to go up 17-0. 14 unanswered points got the 49ers back into the game, but the Packers seemed to reestablish themselves as they took a 24-14 lead into the 4th quarter. But another San Francisco touchdown followed by a Green Bay punt and a field goal from the 49ers’ 20-yard line gave them a shot to win at the end.

San Francisco drove down the field quickly thanks to some abysmal efforts to bring down George Kittle and strong hands from Deebo Samuel. With just 37 seconds left in the game, Kyle Juszczyk caught the ball at the 5-yard line and broke a tackle to dive into the end zone. 28-27 49ers.

The Play

As calm and collected as ever, the Packers started their game-winning drive off with a bang. Most teams have no answer for Davante Adams, but in this game, he was practically the entire offense, being targeted on 56.3% of his routes. The key throw to Adams was called by Matt LaFleur and on a route Rodgers adjusted in practice. The play is made all the more impressive by the fact that Adams was briefly knocked out of the game from a helmet-to-helmet hit, but returned quickly because, quite simply, he’s different.

Rodgers was given the time he needed to throw downfield after the Packers chipped Nick Bosa so as not to put Yosh Nijman on an island. He put the throw right where it needed to be over Fred Warner and Adams made the play.

The Impact

After stopping the clock, Rodgers and Adams would connect once more on 3rd down to set up the game-winning field goal. Crosby nailed the 51-yarder and made the 49ers’ first home game of the season a disappointment. They spiraled a bit, going 1-4 in a stretch that included 2 divisional games. The Packers reeled off 5 straight wins before hitting a COVID inflicted bump in the road. The 49ers would, of course, get their revenge in the playoffs as they sent the Packers packing. As we look back on Adams’ tenure with the Packers, the play is surely one to remember amid many great moments.