All Davante Adams wanted was to give the people what they came for.
The internet began buzzing about the Green Bay Packers‘ top wide receiver and his primary opponent of the week, Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, prior to their divisional-round playoff game on Saturday after the two All-Pros traded words and had to be separated during the pregame warmups.
Davante Adams had to be walked back to the Packers' side of the field after chirping with Jalen Ramsey.
Game on 🍿
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 16, 2021
While media pundits had already billed their matchup as one of the most compelling of the game, the exchange only seemed to dump fuel on the fire. Adams, however, set the record straight after the Packers won 32-18 and made it clear he didn’t get “disrespectful” with Ramsey, even though he issued him a warning about their matchup.
Here’s what Adams said when asked if he used the pregame altercation to get fired up:
“I’m already as ready as I’m going to get. There’s obviously things you can do to tick me off and stuff like that, but it wasn’t even a heated engagement (with Ramsey). I just saw him over there with a camera and he was looking at me, so I just went over there to holler at him real quick and just remind him that I’m not — and it wasn’t in a disrespectful way or nothing like that. Like I said, I respect Jalen as a player. I just said, ‘Look, I’m not some of the dudes you’ve covered, so I just want you to come with me and follow me everywhere and give the people what they came here for.’ By the time I said that, it was literally like police and ambulances and s*** coming out onto the field, trying to break up something that wasn’t even that crazy.”
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Adams & Packers Prevailed Over Ramsey
The Packers picked apart the Rams defense in Saturday’s playoff win with nearly 500 total yards of offense and multiple plays that went for at least 50 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to wide receiver Allen Lazard. For all his skill, Ramsey was helpless to stop the carnage with some not-so-great optics on his defensive coverage.
According to Next Gen Stats, Ramsey gave up receptions all six of the times Rodgers targetted him in coverage and allowed receivers to get an average of 3.7 yards of separation, including at least once when Adams’ route releases left him beat. Adams was also able to use a pre-snap motion to shake a shadowing Ramsey during his 1-yard touchdown grab in the second quarter.
Ramsey also finished worse in the battle between NFC All-Pro cornerbacks. Jaire Alexander, the Packers’ shutdown No. 1, outdid him in most measurable ways, conceding just one catch on three targets in coverage but securing a tackle for a loss of three yards to make it irrelevant. Per Next Gens Stats’ comparison, Alexander also kept pass-catchers closer than Ramsey.
How did pro bowlers Jaire Alexander & Jalen Ramsey perform when targeted as the nearest defender today?
🔹 1 rec allowed, -3 yards (3 targets)
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 17, 2021
Packers Diversified Attack, Outwitting Rams
There was no question about Adams being Rodgers’ favorite pass-catcher on Saturday night with him catching nine of his team-high 10 targets, but the Packers never stayed too reliant on one source of offense and used a diverse attack to knock off the Rams.
While Adams was targetted most, Lazard and fellow wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling each caught four of the eight passes thrown their way. Starting tight end Robert Tonyan also maintained his high level of efficiency with a perfect 4-for-4 performance in the passing game, finishing with a third-most 60 yards.
There was also the Packers’ three-headed rushing monster of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon that combined for 191 rushing yards. Jones finished one yard shy of 100 after ripping off a 60-yard run in the third quarter, but all three of them provided electric runs for the Packers that kept the Rams defense off-balance.