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Check out some of the top performances from Green Bay's 24-10 victory over Washington in Week 7 of the NFL season Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

GREEN BAY — Davante Adams caught a pass over the middle on the Green Bay Packers’ first play from scrimmage and took a big hit. The star receiver got up and jogged slowly to the sideline before eventually making a quick visit to the medical tent.

Before anyone even had time to ponder how dramatically different the team’s prospects would look the rest of the season without a healthy Adams, he was back on the field. And that wasn’t the only piece of good news to emerge for the Packers’ passing game Sunday afternoon during their 24-10 victory over the Washington Football Team at Lambeau Field.

Adams ended that opening possession with a 17-yard touchdown reception and finished his day with six catches for 76 yards. That’s not a huge day but it’s another productive one for a player who’s one of the most consistent playmakers in the NFL.

Just as important for the Packers were these numbers: five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown from wide receiver Allen Lazard, and four catches for 63 yards and a score from tight end Robert Tonyan.

Lazard entered the day with 10 catches for 184 yards and a score through six games. Tonyan, meanwhile, was at 11 receptions for 92 yards and a TD.

Both players have done a lot of blocking but haven’t been asked to do much actual receiving. That changed Sunday.

“It was great to spread the ball around a little bit more this game,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said.

That balance is important because the Packers are probably going to need all hands on deck during a difficult stretch that begins Thursday night with a game at unbeaten Arizona (7-0).

Two things could happen over the course of five games — the Packers’ schedule also includes Kansas City, Seattle, Minnesota and the Los Angeles Rams — before what will be a much-needed bye week in early December:

A team, or teams, will find a way to neutralize Adams. Not stop him completely, but contain him enough that the Packers are going to have to rely on others for this offense to remain productive.

Running back Aaron Jones is always a threat and wide receiver Randall Cobb has had moments, including a handful of them during a win over Pittsburgh. The win Sunday was a reminder of how difficult it can be to stop Aaron Rodgers and Co. when Lazard and Tonyan are getting in the action.

Which brings us to the second possibility and, frankly, I’d call it a probability: Green Bay is going to need to win a shootout … or two … or three … to emerge from this five-game stretch in great shape in the NFC playoff picture.

“I feel like we’re close,” Rodgers said of the offense after going 27 of 35 for 274 yards and three touchdowns, good for a sparkling passer rating of 127.6. “We have to keep finding ways to get the ball to our guys in space, but when our defense is playing like they did today, we’re going to be tough to beat.”

Rodgers isn’t wrong about the defense but he’s only telling part of the story. The Packers did only allow 10 points, keeping Washington out of the end zone on all four of its trips inside the red zone. But they also allowed 430 total yards to a team whose quarterback was Taylor Heinicke.

The counter to that is the Packers were missing four defensive players penciled into the starting lineup when the season began, all at crucial positions: cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Kevin King, along with outside linebackers Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith.

Those absences — and the quality of the opposition to this point — makes it hard to evaluate whether or not this defense is actually good. All I know is I need more evidence before I can trust it.

Get to know all nine players taken by the Green Bay Packers in the 2021 NFL Draft.

This doesn’t require guesswork: Thursday will be a massive measuring stick because Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is even more elusive than Heinicke, with a stronger arm and way better weapons around him.

Which brings us back to the offense and the likelihood of it lighting up the scoreboard.

As is the case with the defense, there’s an injury component to mention for the offense. It’s been a game of musical chairs along the offensive line and getting All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari back in the lineup would figure to make things better on that front. Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s return from a hamstring injury would give Rodgers another weapon, particularly on deep balls.

Rodgers said the Packers are close, so a natural question to LaFleur was this: How close, and what needs to happen to get the offense to make the step from pretty good to great?

“Yeah, it seems like we’re one off quite a bit,” LaFleur said. “So until we get all 11 playing together and doing their responsibilities on each and every play, you’re going to be close. It’s always encouraging when you come away with wins and there’s more to work on.”

It’s also encouraging that two players who had been quiet finally made some noise. Most of the racket in the passing game has been coming from Adams, but he can’t be a solo act if this offense is going to make sweet music over the next month or so. As was the case Sunday, it helps when Lazard, Tonyan and others take their turn banging on the drums.

Contact Jim Polzin at

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