Green Bay and ex-Fresno State star Davante Adams celebrated his birthday Dec. 24, rewarding himself with the 10th touchdown of his breakout season.
The Packers’ third-year receiver had four catches for 44 yards and the TD in a 38-25 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers hit Adams on a back-shoulder throw at the pylon for the 20-yard touchdown to give the Packers a 14-3 lead in the first quarter.
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Adams turned 24 on the 24th and set a career high for touchdown catches. His previous high was three in his rookie season of 2014. He will be going for his first 1,000-yard season when the Packers travel to play the Detroit Lions for the NFC North title Sunday night.
To date, Adams has 69 receptions for 966 yards – also career highs.
“He’s a prophet,” Adams said of Rodgers after the Packers won their fifth straight. “He told you guys a couple years ago to relax and then went out there and balled out. Now he said run the table and we’ve been running that damn table so far. We just have to keep going, keep our foot on their neck and then we’ll make some noise.”
Productive season for Carr – Despite seeing his season ended by a broken right fibula in a 33-25 win over Indianapolis, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr enjoyed a solid year.
Though he would like to be with the team Sunday for the regular-season finale against the Denver Broncos – where the Raiders can clinch the AFC West with a win or with a loss by Kansas City – the former Fresno State star led the franchise to a 12-3 record and helped it secure its first playoff berth since 2002.
Carr ends the regular season having completed 356 of 559 passes for 3,933 yards and 28 touchdowns against six interceptions.
Mathews done – Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews, another ex-Bulldog, also saw his season end when the team placed him on injured reserve. He suffered a herniated disk in his neck in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s 24-19 victory over the New York Giants.
Mathews had 18 carries for 46 yards and one reception for 16 yards. He finishes with 155 carries for 661 yards and eight touchdowns, and 13 receptions for 115 yards and a TD.
Et cetera – Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (Hoover High) led the team with 11 tackles. He also recorded 2.5 sacks, three total tackles for loss and three quarterback hits.
▪ Pittsburgh safety Robert Golden (Edison) didn’t record a tackle as the Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens 31-27.
▪ Cincinnati safety Derron Smith (Fresno State) returned to action but didn’t get a tackle as the Bengals fell to the Houston Texans 12-10. Smith missed the past four games because of a thigh injury.
▪ Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Steven Nelson (College of the Sequoias) had two tackles and a pass deflection in a 33-10 victory over the Denver Broncos.
▪ Los Angeles safety T.J. McDonald (Edison) totaled three tackles as the Rams fell to the San Francisco 49ers 22-21. Rams guard Cody Wichmann (Fresno State) was inactive.
▪ New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (Sequoias) finished with eight tackles in a 41-3 loss to the New England Patriots.
▪ San Diego punt returner Isaiah Burse (Fresno State) had four returns for 20 yards as the Chargers lost to the Cleveland Browns 20-17.