Las Vegas Raiders’ new big and bad receiving corps
What makes Adams so special?
Really, it would be easier to give a list of what doesn’t make Adams a special player. The Raiders needed a no.1 wideout that forces defenses to respect their presence, and there may not be a receiver defenses fear more than Davante Adams, no matter where he is on the field. There’s a reason why he’s averaging 97.6 yards per game over the last two seasons, after all.
It starts with his exceptional release. Really, it’s hard to even form an argument that another receiver in the league comes close. If you’re wondering what a “release” is, it’s the first move you make to create separation early. When you couple this with Adams’ route running ability, you have an unstoppable force. No really, unstoppable; That’s how he’s racked up those yards.
In the last two years, Adams has tallied 2,927 yards coupled with 29 touchdowns. Considering he’s played 30 games in this timespan, this means Adams is basically averaging 100 yards while taking one pass to the house, every game, for the last two seasons.
The big problem for opposing defenses is it simply doesn’t matter where Adams is on the field. Many great receivers are less of a threat in the Red Zone due to the field being more condensed, meaning there’s a limit on what you can do. For Adams, he’s at his best when inside the 20. This could not be sweeter music to Raider Nation’s ears, as the Raiders’ Red Zone attack has been horrendous.
While Las Vegas has been bottom of the barrel in Red Zone scoring, Adams has been masterful, both within 20 and especially within 10-yards. During his ’21 campaign, he logged ten Red Zone scores, which was tied for the second-most. Seven of these happened inside the 10, which was also the second-highest number recorded.
In the 2020 season, Adams posted record-breaking numbers inside the Red Zone. He recorded 23 catches, crossing the plane 14 times. 13 of these instances came within 10-yards out, where he caught 17 passes on 20 attempts.
These ’20 numbers are out of this world. To find a year where a player had 14 touchdowns inside the 20, you’d have to go to 2007, where New England’s Randy Moss had a historic year. Even here, you’d find Moss couldn’t keep up with Adams from 10-yards out. Moss recorded fewer scores and receptions from this range, on a worse completion percentage.
Since Red Zone stats were tracked in 1994, Davante Adams holds the records for both touchdowns and receptions inside the 10, thanks to his historic 2020 season. Now, with the discussion of the generational talent Las Vegas acquired at wideout coming to an end, it’s onto the next part of the receiving corps rebuild.