clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Film room: Davante Adams vs. Pat Surtain II

Diving into the big one-on-one matchup

NFL: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders
Davante Adams Pat Surtain II
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Week 1 matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos features one of the most intriguing one-on-one battles of the weekend in the NFL as two 2022 first-team All-Pros will square off in wide receiver Davante Adams and cornerback Pat Surtain II.

In their two matchups last season, Adams got the best of Surtain statistically with nine catches on 14 targets for 139 yards and two touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus. But the cornerback did have some success with a couple of pass breakups, so let’s dive into the tape and see how each player won and lost last season.

Adams wins at the line of scrimmage here with a good inside jab step on his press release. That forces Surtain II to play from behind and Adams has perfect timing to adjust to the back-shoulder throw as late as possible, preventing the cornerback from being able to make a play on the ball.

In the second half of the game, these two had basically the same rep with the same result. I just didn’t include that one to save you all some time, so you’re welcome!

This one is going to be a win for Surtain II. He’s playing off coverage near the goal line and Adams is going to try to sell the out route before pulling up on the curl. However, Surtain II sits on the route and makes a nice play on the ball by swiping at Adam’s’ hands to bat the pass away. Good rep by the corner to play through the receiver.

Adams and Surtain II are going to face off with the latter in press coverage again, only this time Surtain II gets his hands up a little faster on the jam and is able to get Adams at the line of scrimmage. Then the corner does a good job of continuing to use his hands in the five-yard window and gets another PBU by playing the receiver’s hands at the catchpoint from behind.

These are the types of reps that make matchups like this fun as they trade wins in similar situations.

The clip above comes during a two-minute drive where the Raiders are trying to score before halftime. Adams runs a deep curl route and tries to attack Surtain II’s blind spot. However, the corner does a great job of sinking and flipping his hips to be in a position to get a hand in the passing lane and contest the catch.

This is a nice release by Adams to keep Surtain II on his heels. The wideout then snaps off the curl route before making a nice contested grab, but Sutain recovers to make a tackle immediately after the catch and prevent the third down conversion.

On a semi-related note, Surtain II also had a couple of nice reps against double moves from Adams in this game where he maintained tight coverage Adams didn’t even get targeted. A lot of the catches Surtain II gave up in this contest came when he was playing off coverage. So, while the statistics tilted in the wideouts' favor and this was a back-and-forth contest, I’d have to give the slight upper hand to Surtain II in round one.

We’re moving on to round two with our next clip.

To be honest, this is a strong rep from Surtain II who does just about everything perfectly. However, Adams shows hands ridiculously late on the fade route and hauls in the catch. A great rep between two great players where one guy was just a hair better and got the win. Another reason why this matchup is so much fun to watch.

Denver tries to bracket Adams here and this rep isn’t entirely on Surtain II as the safety should stay closer to the hash but gets too wide toward the numbers. That gives Adams a lot of room to operate and he works across the field while Surtain II isn’t able to catch up and it’s a touchdown. Also, Adams does a great job of selling the vertical route near the 15-yard line to keep that safety on top of him and give himself more room to the inside.

We’ll end with the game-winner from Week 11 and the last rep between these two.

It looks like Surtain II gets a little lost in coverage and overplays the inside route as, earlier in the game, the Raiders ran a similar play where Adams worked across the field on an over route. So, I think Surtain II was trying to cheat on the play and got caught as Adams worked back toward the sideline for an easy touchdown in overtime to head home with a victory.