Packers' red-zone woes worsened without Adams

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  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
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The Packers weren't getting everything they wanted in the red zone before Davante Adams went down. They got nothing afterward.

The Green Bay wide receiver was having a night to remember until midway through the fourth quarter when he suffered a toe injury deep in Eagles territory. That's where the Packers had their most forgettable possessions in a 34-27 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.

They made seven trips to the red zone and scored just three touchdowns. Two first-half drives stalled inside the 15 and resulted in short field goals for Mason Crosby. They advanced even further on their final two possessions but came away empty both times.

"You kick enough field goals, that'll get you beat every time," Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur said.

Perhaps the result would have been different with Adams on the field. The Pro Bowler caught eight passes alone in the first half. His final catch was a 13-yard reception on third-and-6 that put the Packers on the Eagles' 8-yard-line. Adams' right foot appeared to jam into the grass as he was tackled, forcing him out of the game while his team trailed by just a touchdown in the fourth. He didn't return and later told reporters he suffered turf toe.

"Obviously having him out there would be for the better, but we had chances," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

With Adams sidelined, Green Bay still managed to earn first-and-goal from the 1. But four pass plays amounted to a turnover on downs. The Packers' defense held serve and Rodgers drove the offense 86 yards down the field. On second-and-goal with 20 seconds remaining, Rodgers forced a throw to Marquez Valdes-Scantling -- just as Darrius Shepherd peeled open -- that Eagles DB Craig James deflected and Nigel Bradham picked off.

"I felt like with the slightly outside leverage on Darrius that Marquez was going to win," Rodgers explained. "It's so tight down there, if I hold it a tick, obviously I'm going to see Darrius."

Afterward, LaFleur wasn't here for the hyphotheticals of having Adams available for those final two fateful trips to the red zone. Shepherd, interestingly, was the individual filling in for Green Bay's go-to receiver.

"Who knows, right? You really don't know," LaFleur said. "Credit to the Philadelphia Eagles. They made the plays when they had to and that's what ultimately propelled them to victory."

Adams made them too, catching 10 passes for a career-high 180 receiving yards. But he was kept out of the end zone. Once he left the game, his team was kept off the scoreboard.

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