What You Might've Missed: Devotion to Davante

Ravens’ defense was determined to not get beat by Adams

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GREEN BAY – After Sunday's victory at Baltimore, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers admitted the Ravens' defense employed some coverage schemes against WR Davante Adams that he'd never seen.

He also called it "the greatest respect level" bestowed on a player when he's guarded by multiple players the majority of the game, and in plenty of instances the Packers took advantage of all that attention on Adams to make plays elsewhere.

They also, despite the constant double-teams, picked their spots when to get the ball to Adams anyway, and some of those are sprinkled into this analysis.

Play No. 1: First-and-15 from the Green Bay 11, first quarter, 2:27 left

Result: 17-yard completion to WR Allen Lazard

On this first play of the Packers' second drive of the game, this is pretty typical of what Adams faces throughout the game, a no-nonsense double-team from CB Kevon Seymour (38) and DB Brandon Stephens (21) while lined up in the slot. What that does here is create a mismatch in the other slot, with Lazard against a linebacker, Patrick Queen (6). Rodgers will take that anytime, and Lazard's outside-in shake creates plenty of separation to wipe out the offense's early false start penalty in one snap.

Play No. 2: Third-and-4 from the Green Bay 34, first quarter, :27 left

Result: 6-yard completion to Lazard

Three plays later, not much different here. Seymour and Stephens are doubling Adams, and again it's Lazard vs. Queen. This time, the linebacker plays heavy inside leverage, leaving the out route practically impossible to stop. Lazard's diving catch moves the chains.

Play No. 3: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 40, second quarter, 15:00 left

Result: 11-yard completion to Adams

The next snap is the first one of the second quarter, and the Ravens throw a change-up, leaving Adams alone in the inside slot position after TE Tyler Davis (84) motions to that side and DB Anthony Levine (41) shifts with him. It's a great chance to get the ball to Adams and Rodgers doesn't pass it up. On the RPO, he quickly pulls back the handoff and fires laterally to Adams, who gets good blocks from Davis and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (83) to pick up another first down.

Play No. 4: First-and-10 from the Baltimore 49, second quarter, 14:27 left

Result: 31-yard completion to Valdes-Scantling

The very next play, the Ravens are back to devoting an extra defender to Adams. To Rodgers' right, it's 3-on-2 against Adams and Valdes-Scantling. Guess who draws two guys and who gets single coverage? As CB Anthony Averett (23) and Levine stick with Adams, S Geno Stone (26) has to fend for himself vs. MVS, and he can't keep up.

Play No. 5: First-and-10 from the Baltimore 35, second quarter, 4:24 left

Result: 9-yard run by RB Aaron Jones

All the attention on Adams also helps the Packers' running game at times. Here Adams is all alone, split way wide to the right, but the safety Stone still cheats that way at the snap, opening up a fair amount of space when Jones bounces this run outside off of nice blocks from C Lucas Patrick (62) and RT Dennis Kelly (79). Stone can't get there any sooner than anybody else.

Play No. 6: Third-and-goal from the Baltimore 3, second quarter, 1:13 left

Result: 3-yard TD pass to Adams

Here's another carefully selected spot to go to Adams despite the extra attention, because the cornerback lined up on him is practice-squad callup Robert Jackson (17). Before the snap, Stone runs up to tap Jackson on his inside hip to let him know he'll provide help to the inside, but once RB AJ Dillon (28) motions into the backfield to bring Queen into the box and clear the outside space to the pylon, Jackson has no chance.

Play No. 7: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 26, second quarter, :38 left

Result: 24-yard completion to Valdes-Scantling

This is an absolutely incredible thread-the-needle throw by Rodgers to Valdes-Scantling down the middle seam, but the important thing to note is why he even tries it – because the Ravens' coverage plan of double-teaming Adams leaves a linebacker, Chris Board (49), to drop from a blitz look to try to stay with MVS. That's a mismatch and Rodgers knows it. The defender across from Valdes-Scantling at the snap, Seymour, is not guarding him at all but is actually the help on Adams outside. If you watch closely before the snap, Rodgers signals something

Play No. 8: Third-and-6 from the Green Bay 24, third quarter, 14:09 left

Result: 6-yard completion to Adams

On the third snap of the second half, the Packers face what turns out to be a pivotal third down, and when Adams goes in motion, the Ravens sent not one, but two defenders in Levine and Seymour to follow him. But it doesn't matter because, similar to Adams' touchdown play, the second-level help to the inside is rendered meaningless when the line-of-scrimmage defender can't stay with him toward the boundary.

Play No. 9: Third-and-9 from midfield, fourth quarter, 14:26 left

Result: 25-yard completion to Valdes-Scantling

On another big third down early in the fourth quarter, Adams is lined up alone on the left, and the Ravens have not one, not two, but three defenders devoted to that side of the field. From the other side, the companion in cuts by Lazard and Valdes-Scantling – against what amounts to a single safety behind them, with TE Josiah Deguara (81) taking a linebacker into the flat – creates plenty of space for MVS to make the catch for a big gain.

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