Davante Adams’ joining the Las Vegas Raiders was seen as an earth-shattering move when it took place this offseason. Arguably the best wide receiver in football, joining the Silver and Black would apparently change the NFL’s landscape, more so the AFC West. Regrettably, the 2022 season got off to a less-than-desirable start for the Raiders in Week 1. At the same time, Adams proved to be better than advertised; his performance merits further recognition.
Raiders fans have to be hurting right now, even though it’s the morning after, that loss stings. After a promising training camp and an impressive preseason, emotions were running high going into this divisional matchup. The fact that the Raiders’ regular season opener was against the Los Angeles Chargers made for several headlines. And while Khalil Mack crushed the hopes of his old team, the Raiders were in this game well into the late fourth quarter.
Why spread the ball around if you have Davante Adams?
More than any other individual player, Adams single-handedly kept Las Vegas in this one. Sure, Derek Carr could’ve done a better job of getting others involved, such as Hunter Renfrow. However, when something is clicking the way Adams and Carr’s connection was, you keep feeding it. According to Sportradar, Adams received 48.6 percent of all Raiders’ targets. That’s the highest since 2009 for a Raiders player, says Josh Dubow of the Associated Press. Maybe Carr was a little biased (17 targets towards Adams’ way), but can you blame him? On the first play, Carr went to Adams for an automatic first down. It was clear that the Fresno State magic was still alive. Regarding the 17 targets, Adams joined some exclusive company in terms of Raiders who were targeted in a Week 1 contest. Among the players on that list, are Darren Waller (2021), Darren McFadden (2012), and Tim Brown (2000).
Davante Adams' 54 yards receiving were most for #Raiders player on 1st drive of season since at least 1991
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) September 11, 2022
That first drive came to represent what Raiders fans had hoped for: an offense led by a dominant number one receiver. As Dubow once again pointed out, the first drive by the Raiders was powered by Adams, who posted 54 receiving yards. It was the most by a Raiders player on an opening drive since 1991.
Adams and Carr were able to connect for their first touchdown in the Raiders’ opening game, another notable accomplishment. By the game’s conclusion, Adams had torched the Chargers’ secondary with his relentless, precise pass-catching abilities. He went on to record double digit catches (10) for 141 yards and the aforementioned score.
Davante Adams just bought Asante Samuel's soul with this move. pic.twitter.com/SZe3QJZxMP
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 11, 2022
The matchup of Adams and Asante Samuel Jr. proved to be a schooling session for the young cornerback. Early on in the second quarter, the were was a physical tussle between the two as Samuel tried to jam him at the line of scrimmage. However, Adams proved he’s not all finesse, he’ll get physical if you challenge him. Credit to Samuel, he tried his best to contain the All-Pro wideout, but Adams’ spin move was just too much. The misdirection caused by Adams was a thing of beauty, Samuel appeared to be running Adam’s route on that play as a commenter hilariously pointed out.
Davante Adams is him.
Adams recorded 141 yards on 17 targets against LAC.
Adams has topped that number only one time in a Week 1 game: 156 Yards with GB in 2020 pic.twitter.com/zdu31uxvSo
— RaiderRamble.com™ (@TheRaiderRamble) September 12, 2022
Do the Green Bay Packers miss Davante Adams?
An interesting aspect of Adams’ arrival to the Raiders was the notion that his production was going to fall off without Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It’s certainly fair to consider that. Rodgers had plenty of success prior to Adams getting drafted in 2014, so the belief was that Rodgers would do just fine without him. Well, it was only the regular season opener, but Green Bay surely misses Adams right about now. Compared to Adams’ debut with the Raiders, the Packers’ wide receivers could only come up with 11 catches total among the entire group. Those receptions were good for 95 yards and zero touchdowns. Clearly, the Raiders have a game-changing talent, and we can only expect these numbers to rise further this season.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images