clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Packers Film Study: Ravens blanket Davante Adams, Marquez Vadles-Scantling steps up

The Baltimore Ravens were determined to not let Davante Adams beat them, giving MVS a chance to shine.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers star wideout Davante Adams may not have had his best game on Sunday, but the Baltimore Ravens were so focused on containing him that it allowed Marquez Valdes-Scantling to have his best outing of the year.

The Packers came away with a 31-30 victory on Sunday, in large part thanks to a strong performance from the offense and the passing game. Aaron Rodgers helped solidify his MVP case with another 268 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions on the day.

However, it was a relatively quiet game from Adams. He finished with only six catches for 44 yards and a touchdown. It was the second-fewest yards of the season for Adams, and the only game where he had fewer was against the Kansas City Chiefs with backup quarterback Jordan Love playing under center.

Baltimore was hell-bent on slowing down Adams on Sunday, playing with double coverage or bracketing the Green Bay receiver for the majority of the game. Rodgers mentioned after the game that consistent double coverage was the ultimate sign of respect for the superstar wideout, and it opened up the rest of the offense.

Even the pre-snap looks showed just how focused the Ravens defense was on slowing Adams down. You can see just a couple examples of how Baltimore’s defense reacted to Adams in motion below.

With Adams being double-teamed and Randall Cobb sidelined with a groin injury, one of the other Packers receivers needed to step up. Valdes-Scantling had been quiet for most of the season after missing a handful of games with a hamstring injury, but Sunday was his first real opportunity to pad the stat sheet.

MVS finished the game with five receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Some of his catches were nice plays by him, others were creative play designs, and one in particular was just an incredible throw from a future Hall of Famer.

The first reception of the day for MVS was a good example of playing through contact. The 27-year-old receiver fights through the defensive back to gain outside leverage, then continues to push upfield to eventually get open. The broadcast suggested that it might have been a poor throw from Rodgers to leave it short, but the Packers quarterback allowed MVS to make the catch without the safety making a play over the top.

Despite being perceived as being a deep vertical threat, MVS has been able to find other ways to make plays without trying to get behind the secondary. This quick hitch against off coverage was a good example of that, releasing off the line of scrimmage with quick footwork before stopping on a dime.

The cornerback was playing so far off coverage and anticipating Valdes-Scantling to try and get deep. You can even watch the CB backpedal after the snap, only to give MVS too much cushion for him to get the catch, and then finish the play for a first down.

Body control has become another strength for MVS on tape. At 6’4” and 206 pounds, the Packers receiver does a good job of getting himself in position to make catches by shielding the ball from the defender with his entire body. His touchdown came on a nice slant against a cornerback playing outside leverage, cutting inside and then extending across the goal line for his third TD of the year.

We saw some nice plays from MVS against the Ravens, but head coach Matt LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett also did a nice job of drawing up plays to get other receivers open besides Adams.

The play below was a great design that gave MVS his biggest catch of the game. The design is perfect against man coverage. With MVS and Allen Lazard running 10-yard in routes, a delayed route from Josiah Deguara helps get the safety out of the throwing window. Lazard’s route washes out the other defensive back, leaving MVS with a one-on-one matchup.

With his speed and explosiveness, MVS is easily able to create separation at the route stem and finishes the play with yards after the catch for a 31-yard gain.

Having the best quarterback in football certainly helped Valdes-Scantling have a big game too. Rodgers makes at least one jaw-dropping throw every week, and on Sunday that throw happened to go right towards the 27-year-old.

This was supposed to be a breakout year for MVS, but a hamstring injury and a lack of practice reps with Rodgers has made it hard for the two to get on the same page. Packers fans are hoping that a game like this is what the two need to start connecting more frequently on big plays to help the offense keep putting up points.