Cory's Corner: Primed For Davante Adams vs. Jalen Ramsey

Davante Adams will prove why he's the No. 1 receiver in the game. 

The one thing that I always crave in the NFL playoffs is strength vs. strength. And that is exactly what we will see when the Rams travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers on Saturday afternoon in a NFC Divisional Playoff. 

Davante Adams has easily been the best receiver in the league this year and one could even argue that he could garner some MVP love as well. 

Matched up against him is going to be Jalen Ramsey. He is one of the best shutdown corners in the game and is a main reason why the Rams defense has been so strong. He can be matched up man-to-man, while Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley sends the kitchen sink at opposing quarterbacks. 

Seattle receiver DK Metcalf came into Saturday's NFC Wild Card Game as one of the better wideouts in the NFC. When Metcalf would get open, he would go in motion away from Ramsey and when the ascending receiver stayed put, Ramsey ate him up. Ramsey only allowed three catches for 33 yards. Ramsey is only allowing 20 receiving yards a game this year — that's for all 16 regular season games and one playoff game. 

"What they've been doing this year is amazing," said Jared Goff about the LA defense after upsetting Seattle. "And we've been able to rely on them in spots."

The reason why Adams is different is because the seventh-year pro is having his best season and is the best route runner in football. Metcalf had the advantage on Ramsey by three inches and 20 pounds, but his routes were also very loose. He has a tendancy to round off his routes, which allows Ramsey's incredible closing speed to be on display. That isn't going to be the case on Saturday. Adams has left many corners in the dust this year, including the Colts' Xavier Rhodes and Bears' Kyle Fuller. 

"Like with (Davante) Adams, people are 10 and 12 yards off him," said Chicago linebacker Roquan Smith before the season finale. "Of course, if you just toss it out there, the man is going to get six or seven before anyone can get close to him."

And that is the conundrum with Adams. Do you stick close to him and risk getting burned to a crisp or do you give him some space and allow him to rack up the seven-yard grabs? 

I would be very surprised if the Packers sent Adams in motion a lot just to avoid Ramsey. Adams leads the leage in yards after the catch with 584, so even if the pass is close to the line of scrimmage, he doesn't have a problem shaking defenders and finding room to run. That actually plays into the Packers' hands because Ramsey has seven missed tackles.

Coming from Jacksonville, Ramsey's unheralded Jaguars advanced to the AFC title game in 2017, but this is the first taste of the postseason since. What also helps Ramsey is that he can lean on fellow corner Darious Williams — giving the Rams the best corner duo in football. Williams returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown giving the Rams a 10-point lead. 

That puts the onus on Adams even more. He needs to dominate his matchup with Ramsey because Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Allen Lazard is going to have a difficult time seeing much daylight. 

That's why Adams is seeing 30 percent of the Packers targets. He is fourth in the league in targets and he's played in two fewer games. 

This is Adams' time to prove why he is the best receiver in the game. He is the No. 3 receiver in franchise history behind Don Hutson and Sterling Sharpe and a win in the playoffs against one of the best corners in the game will only add to his mythic status. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (38)

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gkarl's picture

January 12, 2021 at 07:12 am

The matchup should be very fun to watch. I don't think the Packers will shy away from Ramsey at all. You do what got you here in the first place. I do expect Adams to sometimes be the hammer and sometimes the nail, a great game within the game.

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Condoriano's picture

January 12, 2021 at 03:58 pm

"I do expect Adams to sometimes be the hammer and sometimes the nail,"
FALSE

Adams will eat Ramsey ALIVE.

120 yrd and 3TD for Adams

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murf7777's picture

January 12, 2021 at 07:28 am

“The reason why Adams is different is because the seventh-year pro is having his best season and is the best route runner in football.“

I was thinking the same thing and will be shocked if he holds Adams under 50 yards and no TD’s.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 12, 2021 at 07:32 am

In terms of matchups Adams vs Ramsey is one of the best matchups to watch. Both will win battles. But who will win the war?

Adams vs Ramsey each are a great matchup. But where Adams can win is his connection with Rodgers. They are at the point they know what each other is thinking. That is what gives Adams the ultimate edge in this matchup. Also Adams knows how to play on Lambeau's turf this time of year. That is a huge advantage for him.

I do believe they will be moving Adams around a lot. They will find ways to get him the ball. Whether its against Ramsey or not.

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Coldworld's picture

January 12, 2021 at 09:12 am

Maybe run both Adams and MVS on Ramsey’s side. Mess with him a bit, with Tonyan and Lazard if they do shade and a RB rollout

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 12, 2021 at 05:27 pm

Go west coast and run three layers on the cross routes,, somebody will break open. Movement and counters.

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Lphill's picture

January 12, 2021 at 07:43 am

Seems like a big game coming for Lazard and Tonyon and Jones in the passing game. But Adams will get his too.

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Lphill's picture

January 12, 2021 at 07:46 am

Plus Russell Wilson I think was the most sacked QB his O line gave him no time to find any receivers downfield.

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Coldworld's picture

January 12, 2021 at 09:15 am

My Seattle friends have told me the whole team emerged flat and played well below par. The way they describe it, the Seahawks just didn’t turn up that day.

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

January 12, 2021 at 07:36 pm

Don’t forget Dillon and Jamaal Williams, either. Also Dafney and possibly Marcedes. The more targets we throw to, the better!

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murf7777's picture

January 12, 2021 at 07:51 am

I believe where we will make the most hay is against their average LB’s. So, look for Tonyan and RB’s to have big games against this D. Run right at Donald in the beginning and see if his ribs hold up for him.

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Since'61's picture

January 12, 2021 at 08:22 am

Other sites are stating that the Packers have resigned Veldheer off the Colts PS now that the Colts season is over.
That is welcome news if accurate. Thanks, Since ‘61

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 12, 2021 at 08:30 am

I think this is a great move! If he never plays, this alone will provide insurance incase of injury. This move could help save a game.

It is accurate. they did sign him.

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murf7777's picture

January 12, 2021 at 08:45 am

Let’s also keep in mind it won’t be Ramsey vs Adams all game as Adams also will play the slot and Ramsey won’t cover that position. That is what makes him so great.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 12, 2021 at 10:46 am

We will run around 65 plays. About 35 passes. About 10 of those towards Adams.

Meanwhile, our RBs....Jones, Williams, Dillon....are going to get about 40 touches.

Adams v Ramsey isn’t where this game will be won or lost.

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Coldworld's picture

January 12, 2021 at 11:35 am

Not necessarily true. Though it’s only one of several potential factors.

Actually, one battle not seemingly discussed is LaFleur v McVey. Can LaFleur come out on top?

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PatrickGB's picture

January 12, 2021 at 08:50 am

This is exactly the kind of defense that can slow down the Packers. But I am not wowed by their offense. Slow us down?...yes. Keep us from beating them?...I don’t think so. if we can get the run game and tight ends involved then we have the edge.

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Coldworld's picture

January 12, 2021 at 09:20 am

The key for me is getting their O off the field rapidly enough to give our O enough chances to score. We aren’t likely to knife them like we did the Bears, so allowing long snail paced Rams drives similar to those Pettine was willing to accept in Chicago would be undermining.

I also have to note that I see our punter and punt coverage teams getting usage this week. That’s not a comfortable thought.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 12, 2021 at 05:31 pm

Pettine has to be tuned in for pressure including run blitzes.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 12, 2021 at 09:16 am

Doing a little research I was looking into the Rams #1 defense ranking. While they are rated number 1 and numbers don't lie, maybe we can dive into those numbers a little bit.

They have faced 3 top 10 scoring offenses this year. They faced the #2 ranked Bills offense. The number 3rd ranked Bucs offense and the number 8th ranked Seahawks offense. The other rankings they have faced, they have faced numbers 14, 15, 17, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32 ranked offenses.
The interesting thing is while looking at Seattle, the first 8 games they were averaging 34 points per game. Their final 9 games (3 of which were against the Rams), they averaged 25 points per game. They had 1 game over 30 points in the final 9 games. That was against the Jets. The first 8 they scored under 30 one time. The first 8 games they would have finished #1. The final 9 they would have ranked 15th. When the Rams played them their offense was not as good as it was in the first part of the year.

The Rams do have a good defense. Not taking that away from them or anything. But they have faced a lot of bad offenses this year, which may have inflated their overall ranking. They are good, but I do believe our offense can beat that defense.

Should be a fun game!

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murf7777's picture

January 12, 2021 at 09:37 am

I think the most important stat is their D gives up 10 more points per game when they play away.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 12, 2021 at 10:59 am

Murf does homework.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 12, 2021 at 09:41 am

Now do the Packers.

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EstebanPablo's picture

January 12, 2021 at 01:28 pm

The Packers faced 4 top 10 offenses, #3 Bucs, #4 Titans, #5 Saints, and #9 Colts. The other rankings faced were 11, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 30. They faced the lowest number of offensive plays , and they were in the top 10 in roughly 30-35% of the myriad of team defense categories pro-football-reference.com tallies. Interestingly, they gave up 25.5 points per game in the first half of the season and 20.62 points per game in the second half. Seems like a defense on the rise to a point, but the level of offense they faced dipped from an average of 13.12 rating to 19.87 rating from first 8 to last 8 games.

Rams lost to the (offense/defense ranks) Bills (2/16), Dolphins (15/6), Seahawks (8/15), 49ers twice (21/17), and the GASP Jets (32/26). 4W/4L away.

Packers lost to the Bucs (5/8), Vikings (11/29), Colts (9/10). 7W/1L @ Lambeau

The two losses to the 49ers and the loss to the Jets stand out as bad games for the Rams. The Vikings loss for the Packers stands out because they should have been able to do more against a bad defense, but that was the game Cook couldn’t be stopped.

On Offense the Packers faced 3 top 10 defenses this year, #5 Saints, #8 Bucs, and #10 Colts. First 8 games they faced on average the 20.7th rated defense, and in the second half it was the 20.3rd rated defense. The first 8 games the Packers offense was averaging 31.62 points per game, two of those games against playoff teams. Their final 8 games (4 of which were against playoff teams) they averaged 32 points per game. They had 6 games in the first half of 30 or more points 2 of those 6 were 40 or more points. They duplicated that effort in the second half exactly. They scored under 30 twice in the first half and under 30 twice in the second half. They had an amazingly balanced season on offense. The Packers offense lead the league in points scored, least # of turnovers lost, passing touchdowns, least # of interceptions thrown, percent of drives ending in a scoring play, lowest percent of offensive plays that ended in turnover, second in yards per offensive play, and net yards gained per pass play. Special teams attempted and made the most extra points, and attempted the least number of field goals. The offense attempted the least number of 3rd downs but was still second in 3rd down percentage. Lastly, they had the highest red zone (gold zone) TD percentage at 80%.

Whole season averages:
Packers averaged 31.81 points for and 23.06 points against.
They faced an average of the 20.56th rated defenses, and the 16.5th rated offenses.

The Rams averaged 23.35 points for and 18.5 points against.
They faced an average of the 14.12th rated defenses, and the 17.81st rated offenses.

Should be fun, and I like our chances.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 12, 2021 at 10:58 am

I also looked at the Ram defense.

ON THE ROAD, which is where they are playing us, they had their five weakest showings. Buffalo scored 35, Miami and the Cardinals scored 28, Tampa and SF scored 24. So I don’t see any reason to believe they are going to hold us to less than 24. I’d take the over on that.

Meanwhile, Minnesota scored 28, and the Bears got a garbage TD to reach 25, but nobody else got more than 21 at Lambeau. Better offensive teams than the Rams have been held under 17. Considering that the Rams QB is playing with a broken throwing hand, I’d take the under at 21.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 13, 2021 at 03:53 pm

Bingo.

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Dzehren's picture

January 12, 2021 at 09:29 am

Looking forward to the match up. It is interesting DK Metcalf had 2 receiving TD’s in the wild card game. Going to watch those 2 plays.

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NWPackersfan's picture

January 12, 2021 at 10:12 am

I haven't seen much mention of the Elephant in the room.....weather! It will be in the high 70's to 80 in LA this week and on game day it will be 27 and cloudy. The Rams are in for a rude awaking and that is the Lambeau 12th Man....Go Pack Go.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 12, 2021 at 11:04 am

Born and raised in Northern Wisconsin but I’ve lived in Sunny San Antonio for 40 years. I woke up to temperatures in the low 40s and said “this is cold”. The Rams are going to be cold, and they’re going to know they’re cold.. It’s not the same as when you live in cold weather.

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PatrickGB's picture

January 12, 2021 at 01:04 pm

Yah, I hate to cold too. And I think the the field and ball conditions will also factor in as well. During the Titian’s game I saw a lot of their players having trouble with it. They were hesitant and slipping when trying to make cuts. And holding on to a slippery ball with a broken thumb will be difficult.

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Fabio's picture

January 12, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Much will depend on how long the OL manages to protect Rodgers. The key to the match and how Adams will play is all her. Greetings from Italy. Go Pack Go

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mnbadger's picture

January 12, 2021 at 12:54 pm

An earlier poster mentioned one great anecdote, that Adams plays on Lambeau's turf faster than anybody. I'm not sure how or why, balance and body control I guess. But you can really see it. Ramsey plays with a great deal of well deserved confidence, that could also work against him if his footing isn't sure. Pack 23-19. GPG

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PatrickGB's picture

January 12, 2021 at 01:21 pm

I see one problem. The following link makes a good case for how the Buks and Panthers were able to confuse Rodgers and how the Rams play defense the same way. https://touchdownwire.usatoday.com/2021/01/12/aaron-rodgers-brandon-stal...

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EstebanPablo's picture

January 12, 2021 at 01:56 pm

That was a very Dusty Evely-ish article to read. Those guys have likely forgot more about schemes and defensive/offensive jargon than I've ever known.

With that said, the Bucs game was a big 'ol dud, and perhaps the better one to show what issues could be coming. The Panthers game we were up 21-3 at the half. Then came out of the locker room like many games and took the foot off the pedal. Perhaps that was because of defensive scheming, and maybe because of our tendency to get up big, and then coast the rest of the game.

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PeteK's picture

January 12, 2021 at 02:22 pm

As mentioned, Akers must be corralled. Our RBs will should have success out of the backfield as both are excellent receivers.

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Crankbait's picture

January 12, 2021 at 03:39 pm

Packers should just use Adams as a decoy and pound the ball with Tonyan and Dillan. When the Rams are weary from this then go for a few kill shots with Adams.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 12, 2021 at 10:19 pm

Every team has doubled up on Adams this year. I expect the Rams to be no different. What is amazing is how both him and Rodgers have work to understand the secondary coverages, and techniques the DB are using game to game. It's so rare with one WR (Nelson) but to see it again with Adams, what does one say. Enjoy the show.

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Gee's picture

January 13, 2021 at 02:47 pm

I think if I'm the rams, I just shadow Adams with Ramsey and scheme for Jones., and Big Bob. This why you gave 2 firsts for Ramsey, to shadow the other team number 1.

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