One number to know heading into Washington's Week 7 meeting with Packers

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One number to know heading into WFT's Week 7 game vs. Packers originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Before every one of Washington's matchups for the 2021 season, Pete Hailey will present one number to know for that particular battle.

Here's what's on his mind, and what should be on your mind, for when the squad heads to Lambeau Field to square off with the Packers.

27

In many matchups for the Washington Football Team, Ron Rivera and everyone else in Burgundy and Gold can rest comfortably on the fact that Terry McLaurin is the best receiver on the field in that particular meeting.

This Sunday, however, will be a rare one when McLaurin isn't the top target. In fact, he won't even be the most feared star who wears No. 17.

While McLaurin, Taylor Heinicke and the other players on offense certainly have plenty to worry about on their own, it's the defense that's got the more unenviable task versus the Packers, and that's limiting Aaron Rodgers and his go-to guy, Davante Adams.

As excellent, explosive and exciting as McLaurin is, Adams is a tier above him production-wise. McLaurin is working to establish himself as one of the sport's elite wideouts. Adams, meanwhile, already is — and he's clearly gotten much more help along the way.

That's what this week's number deals with.

Since entering the NFL in 2019, McLaurin has registered a strong 70.5 receiving yards per game. In that same time span, Adams has posted 97.5 receiving yards per outing. That means Adams is averaging 27 more yards per game than McLaurin over the past two-plus years.

That stat is telling, and it especially highlights the difference between the two situations that these studs are in.

If you were to draw up a step-by-step list on how to develop a receiver in the NFL, it'd basically look like the opposite of what Washington has done for McLaurin.

It feels like he's running routes for a different quarterback every three contests — and sometimes, that's actually been true — and he's yet to be paired with a dangerous threat who can truly take pressure off of him (Curtis Samuel, of course, was supposed to be that in 2021). It's actually remarkable that he's been this consistent for Washington.

By comparison, Adams is basically living the dream. He's been headlining Green Bay's unit along with Rodgers since 2016 — he's recorded at least 74 grabs in each campaign dating back to that one — and though no one would label any of his past or present comrades as terrific second choices, Rodgers has the skill to elevate them on his own and make them more dangerous.

That's not to take away from Adams, by the way. He essentially never drops a ball that comes his way and blends physicality with agility to routinely get open. He's a beast and would thrive with almost anyone who could put a helmet on, call a play in the huddle and handle a snap. 

That said, the QB-WR dynamic is one of the more symbiotic relationships you'll find in sports. Each one needs the other to fully flourish, and one name in this story is far more fortunate than the other.

For nearly his entire career with Washington, Santana Moss was someone who made a whole lot out of a whole lot of nothing on offense. Now, with Moss retired, it's easy to look back and wonder what he could've generated with a more complete group and, most importantly, more useful quarterbacking. 

Hopefully, the same won't be true for McLaurin when his days with the organization are done, but it's hard to ignore the way things are trending. Sunday's meeting with Adams and the Packers will only exacerbate those vibes, too, and show exactly the level McLaurin and the Washington Football Team need to reach if they want him to get to the very highest group of NFL wide receivers. 

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