When the offense is struggling, it's usually because one thing is broken. In prior years, sacks have been a major problem and its easy for one sack to put the brakes on an entire drive, even if it doesn't happen on 3rd down. It's the same with incomplete passes, and while fingers could be pointed at WR James Jones (who had zero receptions on six targets against the Bears) for disappearing from game-to-game, or WR Randall Cobb for a down season, the spotlight is glaring on Adams.Mistakes pile up on offense in loss to Bears. #Packers locker room report: https://t.co/OQQswbiK9q pic.twitter.com/6CmeRDo7G4— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 27, 2015
Currently Adams has a negative DYAR ranking according to Football Outsiders. Most receivers are positive, but there are some good receivers with negative one. WR Dez Bryant currently has a negative DYAR because of his foot injury and the three headed QB hydra that's been a problem all season in Dallas. Adams had a high ankle sprain earlier this season to blame, but it looks a lot worse when you compare Adams to all the other receivers that have registered a negative DYAR since 2008 (the first year QB Aaron Rodgers became a starter):
Obviously that's cherry picking, another player to pick on is James Jones who had zero catches for zero yards in those two games. But Adams hasn't made up for it in other games so they could overlook his flops (and drops) against the Lions and Bears. Adams doesn't have a single receiving touchdown in 2015, and his negative DYAR not only stands out poorly in 2015, Aaron Rodgers has never had a receiver struggle like Adams.
Mike McCarthy said after the Bears game that he's going to make changes. Adams is the obvious choice, but TE Richard Rodgers also has a negative DYAR in 2015 (he was negative in 2014 too) and might have fallen behind TE Justin Perillo. Run and pass blocking might also play a factor in this decision too.
The first replacement for Adams is probably WR Jeff Janis. While it may seem like it's about time, over their last two games, Janis has played on 32 offensive snaps and he's had the ball thrown to him twice for zero receptions. It doesn't look like he's getting open and/or earned his quarterback's trust. It's probably a stretch to imagine either WR Jared Abbrederis or WR Ty Montgomery will return to health by Thursday. There's someone on the practice squad, but I'm not going to even consider him. If injuries are still a problem, there isn't a strong Plan B available.
So the good news is that there is a solution. Focus on the good receivers with positive DYAR (Cobb, Jones, Janis, Perillo) and significantly reduce the roles of the receivers who are negative (Adams, Richard Rodgers). Both Adams and Rodgers were 2014 draft choices and still probably need time to develop, but if it hasn't happened yet then it's probably not happening this season. They can be considered as part of the future but not the present. The playoffs are still within sight as they currently hold a wild card spot, and have two more NFC North games remaining. Making an adjustment to their offensive game plan, along with the healthy return of RB Eddie Lacy over their last two games, could get them right back on track for the NFC North title.