Packers rookie WR Christian Watson shines again in latest Green Bay loss

As the Green Bay Packers season careens toward oblivion with another rough loss, this time on Thursday night to the Tennessee Titans, 27-17, Christian Watson has become a bright light peeking through the darkness.

The rookie receiver proved his 3-TD performance in Week 10 wasn’t a blip on the radar. Watson doubled down, catching two more TDs, becoming the first Packers rookie with multiple touchdown catches in back-to-back games since Max McGee in 1954. He caught four passes for 48 yards and the two scores Thursday.

“You gotta take your hat off to him. Five touchdowns in (five) days, that’s huge,” Randall Cobb said via the team’s official website. “He’s playing really well, and I think he’s figuring out how he fits into this offense and he’s staying on the field. He’s unfortunately had to deal with some injuries early on in his career, early on this season, and you see the difference he makes when he’s out there.”

Watson had zero touchdown catches before Sunday. Then he became the first NFL rookie to score five TDs in a span of five days or less since Bears HOF RB Gale Sayers scored six in one game on Dec. 12, 1965, versus San Francisco, per NFL Research.

Interestingly, Watson and Mike Vrabel, the current Titans coach, are the only NFL players with 5-plus rec TD and fewer than 20 receptions in a career since 2000. Watson: 5 rec TD on first 16 career receptions. Vrabel: 10 receptions, 10 rec TD in his career as a player (14 years).

Watson’s five receiving TDs this season are the most by a Packers rookie WR since James Lofton in 1978 (6 TD).

He leads all NFL rookies in touchdown catches entering Sunday.

Watson is beginning to gain the trust of Aaron Rodgers, as evidenced by the scramble-drill TD in the first quarter when the QB caught the Titans with too many men on the field. Later, the rookie used his smooth speed to gain separation in the red zone for his second score.

After struggling through injuries and drops early in the season, the light has clicked for Watson. After the loss, Rodgers noted that the rookie earned more targets and trust.

“He made the over-the-shoulder catch (last game) and it opened up a whole new world of confidence for him,” Rodgers said. “We caught them with too many on the field, and I gave him a trust ball. Threw it up in the back of the end zone and he came down with it. He’s playing with a lot of confidence. You look at the week of practice prior to last Sunday, he had many drops — really throughout practices for the season. The last few days, no drops. He caught everything today. Yes, we have to get him the ball more.”

Falling to 4-7 puts the Packers’ season in peril. Only 4 of 145 teams since 1990 have made the postseason with a 4-7 record through 11 weeks. But on the positive side, some young talent on the roster has risen to the forefront in recent weeks, most notably Watson.

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