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Marquez Valdes-Scantling's big plays propel Packers' offense

Third-year receiver sets new career high with 149 receiving yards

Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling races to the end zone on a 78-yard catch-and-run score in the second quarter of Sunday's 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling races to the end zone on a 78-yard catch-and-run score in the second quarter of Sunday's 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

GREEN BAY – As the first quarter of Sunday's game between the Packers and Jaguars drew to a close, Marquez Valdes-Scantling had noticed something with how Jacksonville was defending him.

"I had run a go route on that previous play and saw that I could get behind him," Green Bay's third-year receiver said. "He wasn't really respecting the deep (ball), so I went back to the huddle and told Aaron that I can get by him.

"The next play, we went out and threw a go ball."

And what a go ball it was.

With a perfectly placed deep ball by Aaron Rodgers, Valdes-Scantling outsprinted Jaguars cornerback Sidney Jones down the sideline and cut across field for the 78-yard touchdown, the longest by a Packer since WR Jordy Nelson's 80-yard TD reception vs. the N.Y. Jets on Sept. 14, 2014.

The play sparked a Packers' offense that punted three times in the first quarter and set off a career day in which the 6-foot-4, 206-pound receiver caught three passes for 149 yards in Green Bay's 24-20 victory over the Jaguars.

The touchdown, set up by Aaron Jones' blitz pickup, went viral since the official got run over by safety Jarrod Wilson when Valdes-Scantling cut to the middle of the field, and then Wilson couldn't catch him.

"I just tried to put it up in the air and throw it a little bit inside expecting the ball to kind of float to the right a little bit," said Rodgers of the play.

"And Marquez did all the separation at the 20-yard mark and did a nice job catching it, switching field and kind of using the ref to get into the end zone there."

That wasn't all for Valdes-Scantling. Later in the second quarter, facing a third-and-6 from the Green Bay 23, Rodgers scrambled out of the pocket and found Valdes-Scantling uncovered in the middle of the field for a 22-yard gain.

He also caught a 31-yard pass in the second half to put a stamp on the fourth 100-yard game of his career, one week after recording his first two-TD performance in Green Bay's 35-17 win over San Francisco.

The Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars faced off in a Week 10 matchup at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020.

"Aaron Rodgers, he's one of the best in the game with extending plays and so you have to find an opening and go make the play," Valdes-Scantling said. "That's something we always work on, always preach, when plays break down, find a way to get open and find a spot and be open. That was just something that I did, kind of sat down in a zone and waited for the ball to come to me."

Valdes-Scantling's big day was important on several fronts but especially given the emphasis Jacksonville placed on stopping Green Bay's run game, which finished with 80 yards on 25 carries.

There also was one stretch where the Packers' offense was without Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams, who exited briefly with an ankle injury before returning to catch the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. 

"They were doing a really good job of stopping the run and we were able to just go out and pass the ball," Valdes-Scantling said. "We see these conditions every day, we practice in them every day, so we're pretty used to being able to go out and throw in the wind and know what passes you can throw and what passes you can't throw.

"You have Aaron Rodgers, he can get pretty much get any football through any wind, so it doesn't really matter."

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