Containing Raiders’ Davante Adams priority No. 1 for Cardinals defense
TEMPE — Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was point blank when it came to Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams.
You can’t stop him, you can only contain him. Given the caliber of Adams, that’s all you can hope for when you line up against the two-time All-Pro, especially with the added energy the wideout’s grandparents are providing in Week 2.
“He is probably the best route runner in the league outside of (Stefon Diggs) in Buffalo,” Joseph said. “He is a special player. … Those kind of guys win their 1-on-1s. If you’re 1-on-1 for 10 plays, he’ll probably win seven.”
In his first game in the black and silver this past Sunday, Adams wasted no time proving all his success in Green Bay didn’t rely on the guy under center.
Back with his college quarterback Derek Carr, the nine-year veteran was an absolute problem for the Los Angeles Chargers, reeling in 10 catches on 17 targets for 141 yards and a touchdown in a Week 1 loss. He recorded his 20th career game with at least 10 receptions and posted the 32nd 100-yard game of his career.
“He’s one of the best in the game,” Cardinals WR Hollywood Brown said Thursday. “He’s one of the guys that you want to model your game after. He does everything the right way and his mentality is right. His mentality is really what makes him who he is.
“If you sit down and talk to him, you’ll know why he’s the way he is,” Brown added.
Now, Adams draws a Cardinals defense that is looking to rebound after posting league worsts pretty much across the board through the air.
For Joseph, it comes to down to sticking to their game plan, choosing their spots on when to double team the Raiders pass catcher and having a seamless operation, something that was anything but in week 1.
And while Adams is by far the defense’s public enemy No. 1, he’s not the only Raiders weapon Arizona has to deal with in Sin City.
Tight end Darren Waller has posted two seasons of more than 1,100 receiving yards over the past three years, while underrated slot man Hunter Renfrow continues his NFL ascension.
Running back Josh Jacobs has recorded at least seven touchdowns a season since entering the league in 2019 and will likely be a big part in Las Vegas’ operation. It’s on Joseph and the defense to act accordingly.
“I think (Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels) is going to hand the ball off more often this week and also use play action to free up Davante and those guys, so it’s going to be a tough out, Joseph said.
“It’s NFL football, every week is a challenge and I think we’re up for it but we have to play better. If we don’t, it won’t get better, but we have to coach and we have to play better this week.”