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Raiders report: Davante Adams fights through defensive attention

Updated September 25, 2022 - 8:05 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Davante Adams ran by Zach Cunningham and went above Kevin Byard to pull in a touchdown for the Raiders in the second quarter of Sunday’s 24-22 loss to the Titans at Nissan Stadium.

It was a reminder of how special a player Adams is but also how difficult his life is on the field.

He’s always going to be the focal point of a defensive game plan, as teams will insist more and more on making somebody else beat them.

On the play, Cunningham originally dropped with Adams, then released him to Byard in an attempt to bracket Adams and not allow him to get free.

It didn’t matter.

“They doubled me, as they did 95 percent of the game,” Adams said. “I had to find a way to get open and split them basically, and Derek (Carr) threw a great ball over the top of his head and I just tried to get up and make a play.”

It’s nothing new for one of the NFL’s best receivers. He’s constantly going to draw the most defensive attention, but one thing he won’t do is accept that the double teams are going to take him out of the game.

“I’ve been getting played like this for a while now,” he said. “The operation is to figure it out and still be productive at the end of the day.”

Adams finished with five catches for 36 yards to extend his streak of games with at least two receptions to 78. It’s the second-longest active streak behind DeAndre Hopkins (84).

He also has a touchdown in all three games this season.

Stepping up

Receiver Mack Hollins tied his career high with five receptions last week in a breakout game for the Raiders.

He shattered that mark Sunday with an eight-catch, 158-yard effort that included a touchdown in the closing minutes that pulled the Raiders within 24-22.

The scoring play was a jump ball he wrestled away from the defender on fourth down. Earlier in the drive, he ran under a deep ball from Carr for a 48-yard gain to convert another fourth down.

Hollins, known more for his special teams work, also made a great play to down a punt near the goal line.

“Mack always works hard,” coach Josh McDaniels said. “I think that’s why he was voted as a captain. His effort and the way he performs has been a bright spot.”

His effort on special teams was a known commodity. His emergence as a weapon in the passing game has been a revelation, but not an unexpected one to Adams.

“The most catches he’s ever had was 16,” Adams said. “But this is what I expect out of him after getting to know him as a player. He can do that consistently, and we’re going to need that from him if this is how teams are going to play us (defensively).”

Hollins did not speak to reporters after the game.

Waller shoulders blame

Tight end Darren Waller took responsibility for the interception that bounced off his hands in the end zone early in the fourth quarter when Carr tried to zip in a throw between two defenders.

“You have to look the ball in,” Waller said. “You have to secure the catch, first and foremost. I didn’t do that. I tried to turn up and make a play at the goal line. You can’t do that, especially in key moments of the game. We preach fundamentals all the time, and that was a fundamental error by me.

“But I don’t hold myself to a standard of perfection. I’m going to mess up sometimes, but I know I’m going to bounce back. I know one day or one play can’t define me.”

Jacobs plays

Running back Josh Jacobs traveled to Nashville on his own Saturday instead of flying with the team Friday because he was sick.

He was listed as questionable, but ended up playing and running for 66 yards on 13 carries. He also had five catches for 31 yards.

Jacobs, who declined to speak with reporters after the game, was operating behind the Raiders’ seventh offensive line combination this season.

Alex Bars was called up from the practice squad and started at left guard, the 12th start of his career and first with the Raiders. Rookie Dylan Parham filled in again at center for Andre James, who missed his second consecutive game with a concussion. Right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor shifted to right guard, with rookie Thayer Munford at right tackle. Guards John Simpson and Lester Cotton operated in reserve roles.

McDaniels didn’t want to offer a full review before seeing the film, but thought the reconfigured combination was adequate.

“We’re trying to find the right formula, the right five guys that will go out there and play dependable and do it right over and over and over again,” he said. “I thought they did a decent job against a good front.

“I thought they gave Derek an opportunity to have some time to throw.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.