Ever wondered what happens to your favorite Green Bay 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.
In the week 17 edition of Old Friends, we take a look at our three mainstays and welcome in a new addition from the Windy City. A few of these performances stood out not just amongst former Packers, but the entire league as Jamaal Williams and Davante Adams put up superstar numbers.
Christian Kirksey, LB, Houston Texans
Christian Kirksey forced six tackles in a massacre at the hands of the Jags as the Texans lost 31-3 and fell to 2-13-1. Kirksey did force a field goal on a 3rd and 5 at the Houston 35-yard line. Granted it was against the Jaguars’ backups. And the game was already 28-3. But little wins count too!
Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
With the hapless Texans out of the way, we can move on to the star of the week, Davante Adams. Adams was an offense unto? himself on Sunday in the first game since Derek Carr was benched and stepped away from the team. There is no Step Brothers-esque best friend connection between Adams and Stidham that we know of, but it didn’t seem to matter because Adams is simply the best. He finished with seven catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns on eleven targets in this one.
With the Raiders in danger of going into halftime down 14-10, Adams came up clutch at the end of the first half with a toe-tap touchdown to put the Raiders up three. He would come up huge again in the Raiders’ first possession of the second half with a 60-yard touchdown catch that put the Vegas up by 10. Against Brock Purdy, this should have been enough, but sometimes Raiders are gonna Raider.
The snag and the toe tap from Davante Adams...— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) January 1, 2023
What. A. Catch.
With the Raiders down 7 late in the fourth quarter, Adams needed to come through in the clutch, and of course, he did. Jarrett Stidham delivered a ball down the right sideline that was a bit long, requiring Adams to fully extend and make one of the greatest catches of the year for 45 yards. The Raiders would tie the game two plays later on a Josh Jacobs touchdown. Stidham’s magic, unfortunately, ran out in overtime, as he threw an interception that set the 49ers up for the winning field goal.
Simply ridiculous @tae15adams— NFL (@NFL) January 2, 2023
: #SFvsLV on FOX
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/AWLwvE0huJ pic.twitter.com/xVJLDcAGbG
Mike Pennel, DT, Chicago Bears
Yes. Mike Pennel is still playing. The Bears took a drubbing at the hands of the Detroit Lions on Sunday but Pennel had a decent outing. He finished with four tackles and 2 TFLs for stuffing Jamaal Williams deep inside Bears territory twice.
Taysom Hill, TE, New Orleans Saints
The @Saints 9-minute opening drive ends with a Taysom Hill TD!— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2023
: #NOvsPHI on FOX
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/CPlICSjVJn pic.twitter.com/jVl1e3L8ZV
Taysom Hill played a pivotal role in the Saints’ biggest win of the season over the Philadelphia Eagles. Hill almost matched Alvin Kamara’s rush attempts… for some reason. He finished with 14 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown, his 10th of the year. Hill also added a catch for ten yards and completed two passes for 24 yards. His best sequence came on a 4th and 2 at the Philadelphia 9-yard line where he ran for eight yards and followed it up with a rushing touchdown to put the Saints up 7-0. Renaissance man, gritty player, Swiss Army knife…. Yada yada yada. You know the spiel.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions
Jamaal Williams career long 58 yard run. pic.twitter.com/Uqs6t3pMoD— CougarStats (@CougarStats) January 1, 2023
Williams was the engine of the Lions’ offense on Sunday that simply toyed with the Chicago Bears. He handled 22 of the team’s 39 rushes on the day and totaled 144 yards and a touchdown. Williams mostly played the role of bruiser but had two long runs to bolster his averages. The first was a 40-yard run early in the 3rd quarter, followed by a touchdown two plays later that put the Lions up 31-10. Williams also broke another long run in the fourth with the game comfortably in hand, gaining 58 yards in an extra punch to the gut of the Bears.
That’s all for this week’s edition of Old Friends! Check back next week to see how the boys fare in week 18. With the number of starters resting or playing on snap counts, it’s possible we see some new faces enter the fray.