There is no question that the Green Bay Packers need to get better play out of their wide receivers. Yes injuries have made an impact, but there have also been some disappointing performances especially from Randall Cobb and Davante Adams.
When Jordy Nelson went down with a season-ending injury, in the preseason against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the idea was that Cobb and Adams would be able to pick up the slack. Well, so far it has not happened that way.
An ankle injury has definitely impacted Adams’ play this season and it seems that he aggravates it on a weekly basis. Yet when it comes to Cobb, the drop off in his play is somewhat surprising.
Yes defenses are playing him differently and are paying more attention to him without Nelson out on the perimeter, but still his lack of production and penchant for dropping the football in recent weeks have become a disturbing trend.
That’s why it makes sense for the Packers to throw the football more to second-year receiver Jeff Janis. I have argued for Janis before and I am going to do it again because he just seems to make plays.
Take the Vikings game as an example — with Micah Hyde out with an injury — Janis ripped off a big kick return that gave Green Bay the ball in Minnesota territory. Then, right before the half on a third-and-long — Janis drew a 48-yard pass interference penalty.
And that wasn’t the first time that Janis made a pair of big plays for the Packers this season. In a win over the Chargers, Janis caught passes for 33 and 46 yards. Since then and until this past weekend he has been a ghost in the Green Bay offense.
In the loss to the Detroit Lions quarterback Aaron Rodgers targeted Adams 21 times — it resulted in just 79 yards. For the season, Adams has just 308 yards on 52 targets which is only 5.9 yards per target. Most good receivers average around 10. Cobb is averaging 6.3 yards per target — another poor number.
Janis has just six targets this season and with those he has produced 79 yards, as well as a pass interference of 48 yards. In very limited sample, he is averaging 13 yards per target. That number would definitely fall if targeted more frequently but the point is — Janis can make plays. And with the way the Packers are struggling to generate big plays in the passing game, they owe it to Janis and the offense to give him a shot.