Davante Adams is too good. Good enough that opposing defenses are becoming increasingly desperate in their hunt to find ways to slow him down. Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale came up with a scheme, called 17 Bulldog, which follows a simple premise: If one guy cannot defend Adams, what about two guys?! What about THREE guys?
The scheme didn't entirely work during last weekend's game between Green Bay and Baltimore. Adams caught six passes for 44 yards and a touchdown, which is a relatively slow day for him, but also an impressive outing for a guy who had multiple defenders on him all game. Adams was happy with his performance, judging by a photo he shared on Instagram which shows two Ravens defenders feebly trailing him while he hauls in a touchdown pass.
Even in double coverage (sometimes triple coverage) on Sunday, Adams couldn't be stopped. But it's fairly unprecedented to stack a defense so heavily against a single receiver in the NFL. Yesterday, Adams gave a Zoom press conference in which he was asked by Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Tom Silverstein about a third-down play early in the game, where the Ravens deployed three defenders to cover Adams: a defensive back on the line of scrimmage, another one seven yards behind him, and another one behind them.
"Was it one of these?" Adams asked, whipping out his phone to show reporters what looked like a collection of screenshots of the plays on which Baltimore's defense lined up three guys in front of him. Incredible. Funny.
"No, yeah. Once they do that I just start running around in circles," Adams said. "Just turn it into a playground operation. If that's how they wanna do it, I just do unfair stuff, too. So I don't even know what route I ran, but I don't think it was the route I was supposed to run."
Imagine being so good at catching footballs that, at the highest level of play, other teams have to put three guys on the other side of the line from you, and you're just mildly annoyed by it.
I hope Davante Adams has a very happy holidays.