Return to Baltimore holds special meaning for Adrian Amos

Packers safety’s first career INT, and pick-six, came against childhood team in 2017

S Adrian Amos

GREEN BAY – Oct. 15, 2017, is a date Adrian Amos will forever hold close to his heart.

What started as a homecoming game for the Baltimore native, who grew up idolizing Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, ended with Amos catching his first NFL interception off Joe Flacco and returning it for a 90-yard touchdown to help propel the Chicago Bears to a 27-24 overtime win over his childhood team.

Among those in attendance was Amos' grandmother, who watched from a skybox at M&T Bank Stadium that day. She passed away last year.

"I've still got the video of her reacting to it," said Amos of his pick-six that day. "For her to be able to see me in that game, it was her first NFL game she got to see me play, so that was a big time with all my family. Everybody was there that game."

And most everybody will again be at this Sunday's game between the Packers and Ravens. Amos estimated he's already purchased around 20 tickets for his immediate family with many other friends and relatives expected to attend.

Amos' situation is quite a bit different today than it was in 2017. He returns as a bona-fide playmaker, having recorded 512 tackles, nine interceptions and five sacks in 105 regular-season games (101) starts.

Since 2019, Amos has been a staple in the Packers' secondary with 2,870 defensive snaps played. He's currently second the team with 71 tackles to go along with seven passes defensed and a pair of interceptions.

The challenge is also much greater with former NFL MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson leading Baltimore's offense and trusted tight end Mark Andrews (75 catches, 926 yards and six touchdowns) in the midst of another Pro Bowl season.

Jackson hasn't practiced yet this week due to an ankle injury, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh said earlier this week he's expecting his MVP quarterback to be available.

"Lamar, I don't think there's ever been as good of a runner than him in the open field, especially at quarterback," Amos said. "He's just special. He's gifted. He can hurdle without hurdling. He knows how to move his feet. There's certain runners that can make every cut and then accelerate.

"He's dynamic. When he gets going, he can throw the ball. When he gets going and they get their offense actually going … he's proven that in numerous games he can go out there and throw passes and lead comebacks."

The Ravens have played nine games that have been decided by seven or fewer points, including their last four. That also includes a Week 2 rally to beat Kansas City, 36-35, in one of the most memorable games of the 2021 season.

Amos and the Packers' defense carry in plenty of momentum, having shut down Chicago's offense in the second half during this past Sunday's 45-30 win over the Bears at Lambeau Field.

Green Bay enters ranked sixth in total yards (323.6 yards per game), sixth in scoring defense (20.9 points per game), and ninth in both rushing (105.2 ypg) and passing (218.5 ypg).

Amos hopes to put on a show for all of his family and friends in attendance, though he jokes about the cap he put on tickets due to the fact they're not free. He has to pay for them out of pocket.

"Just my immediate family is big, because I've got three sisters, a brother," said Amos with a smile. "And then, I told them I'll get all the old people tickets. All the old people get tickets, my nana, and particular aunts."

After Amos nabbed the only pick-six of his career against the Ravens in 2017, could the seventh-year safety be in for an encore this Sunday?

"God willing. Hopefully," Amos said. "That would be great, for sure."

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