Must-see matchup: Davante Adams vs. Jalen Ramsey is as good as it gets

Though the two All-Pros might not go head-to-head all game

WR Davante Adams (left); Rams CB Jalen Ramsey (right)

GREEN BAY – They've lined up across from one another barely more than a handful of snaps.

Davante Adams recalls about five plays in the Pro Bowl, following a snap here or there in Jalen Ramsey's NFL debut with Jacksonville, back in the 2016 opener.

That's it. But that's about to change.

The marquee matchup on the perimeter in Saturday's Packers-Rams NFC Divisional playoff at Lambeau Field will have the two first-team All-Pros, Adams at receiver and Ramsey at cornerback, in a bright spotlight.

As is typical with Adams, though, he wasn't overhyping the showdown after practice on Tuesday. While calling Ramsey one of the three or four "super elite" corners in the league, Adams' MO is always to focus more on himself than the other guy.

"It's just basically rooted in my confidence and the way that I play," Adams said. "There's certain guys who dictate or change the way they play based off who they're playing, and that still may translate to success for them, but the way that I play is, like I say, I'm in the driver's seat."

What Adams means is, the best part of his game is his release at the line of scrimmage, so if he avoids getting jammed or disrupted at the snap, he's in control. At that point, it's less about the player guarding him and more about how precise and technically sound he is with his routes and breaks.

That said, it is the playoffs, and it's another first-team All-Pro with more to offer than anyone Adams has faced in his monster, record-setting season (115 catches, 1,374 yards, 18 TDs). So yes, there will be some extra video prep for Adams this week, but not to the point of over-absorption.

"I like to dictate what goes on out there so I'm not really going to get too caught up in the film and start thinking too much and all that," he said. "I just go play my game, but it does help to get into a little bit of extra film just to make sure you're ready for whatever they can bring if they've got a few extra tools in their bag."

There's certainly no arguing with Adams' postseason results as quarterback Aaron Rodgers' No. 1 target. Last January, Adams set the franchise single-game playoff record with 160 yards vs. Seattle and tied the team mark with nine catches at San Francisco.

Over the two games, he caught 17 passes for 298 yards and two TDs, vaulting him to or near the top of several franchise career postseason lists. He's now second in yards with 687, first in 100-yard games with four, and tied for second in TDs with six.

This year marks Ramsey's first postseason appearance since 2017, his other All-Pro year, when the Jaguars made a run that came up one game short of the Super Bowl. He had an interception in that three-game stretch. Arriving in LA in a 2019 midseason trade, Ramsey was credited with one pass breakup last week when the Rams won in the wild-card round at Seattle.

Five times this season, Ramsey has gone up against NFC West rivals DeAndre Hopkins of Arizona and DK Metcalf of Seattle. Early in the year, he also faced Buffalo's Stefon Diggs.

But Ramsey wasn't necessarily assigned to the opponent's No. 1 every single play, so whether trying to limit Adams' impact will be Ramsey's full- or part-time responsibility Saturday remains to be seen.

Head Coach Matt LaFleur said Tuesday the Rams vary their coverages quite often, and Rodgers said they keep their two safeties back a lot. So opportunities with Adams against another defender may present themselves, especially if he lines up in different places, including the slot. But potential safety help could dictate how aggressively the Packers attack with Adams.

"It's different," Rodgers said of LA's defense, which allowed the fewest points in the NFL this season. "Just like I feel the NBA is different where it's not like MJ's coming to town and somebody's got him one-on-one all game and he's going to try to drop 50 on him.

"I don't know how much 'mano-y-mano' is going to be out there."

Ramsey has been known to trash talk, but Adams isn't sure how much that'll happen Saturday. Regardless, it's two of the best at what they do, with a lot on the line.

"I've got respect for him. I'm sure based off our conversations we've had before, he's got respect for me," Adams said. "So there won't be no disrespectful stuff going on out there, but it will definitely probably get heated a few times I'm sure."


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