Sports

Palo Alto grad Adams helps Packers advance in NFL playoffs

 

The 2015-16 National Football League season has been extended at least one more game for Palo Alto High grad Davante Adams, whose Green Bay Packers advanced in the NFC wild-card playoffs with a 35-18 victory over the host Washington Redskins on Sunday at FedEx Field in the national's capitol.

Adams made one of his better plays of the season late in the second quarter, hauling in a 20-yard pass down the sideline against one-on-one coverage from Redskins cornerback Quinton Dunbar. It got Green Bay down to Washington's 10-yard line in the final minute of the first half.

"It was man coverage, and I tried to beat him with a quick double move to get outside," Adams told Packers.com. "I saw the ball and I had to go up and get it. He made a play on it, too, but I was able to trap it in my pads and keep the drive alive."

Two plays later, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers found Adams alone in the back corner of the end zone for a 10-yard TD with just 28 seconds left, giving the Packers their first lead of the game at 17-11.

Unfortunately for Adams, after he began the second half with a 9-yard catch-and-run, he injured his knee and had to leave the game. He finished with four catches (on four targets) for 48 yards.

Adams, who played on Palo Alto's 2010 state championship team, said his knee was "sore" but he thought he'd be "fine."

Playing for the Redskins were former Stanford standouts Trent Murphy and Alex Smith.

Murphy, a second-year linebacker, started and appeared in 21 percent of defensive snaps and 59 percent of special teams plays, finishing with a solo tackle and a downed punt of 50 yards. The All-American at Stanford has two years left on the four-year contract he signed as a rookie.

Smith, an 11-year veteran tight end, caught his first pass of the season in the first quarter -- a 16-yarder from QB Kirk Cousins. The catch was Smith's first NFL reception since 2013 after being signed by Washington on Dec. 15.

Green Bay next will play Arizona on Saturday (5:15 p.m., NBC). The Cardinals have former Stanford standouts Stepfan Taylor and Josh Mauro on their roster.

Also advancing to the second round was Seattle, which posted a 10-9 victory over host Minnesota. The Seahawks will visit Carolina on Sunday (1:05 p.m., FOX).

Former Stanford wide receiver Doug Baldwin had a 3-yard touchdown reception for Seattle in the frigid conditions in Minnesota. The game was ranked the third-coldest in NFL history with wind-chill temps reaching a minus 25 degrees.

"Our resilience is embedded in this team in every facet," Baldwin said. "For us to pull out this game is just another example of what this team is made of."

Added cornerback Richard Sherman, a former teammate of Baldwin's at Stanford: "It just was another opportunity for our team to show who we were. Guys continued to battle, continued to fight until the last second, even when it looked dire . . . The football gods were with us today.

"We just kept going. We didn't lose faith, we didn't lose confidence, we didn't lose anything when we were down and out. Most people would have given up. A lot of people would have folded and said, 'that's it.' We've got a team full of fighters."

With the Seahawks in the red zone for the first time all game -- and the only time, as it would turn out -- QB Russell Wilson went to his most reliable target, and as usual Baldwin found a way to get open for a 3-yard touchdown. That was Baldwin's best play in terms of the outcome of the game, but it wasn't his best catch on Sunday. That would instead be the insane, one-handed grab he made over the middle of the field for a 17-yard gain early in the third quarter.

"Greatest catch I've ever seen, hands down," Wilson said. "I've never seen anything like that before. Doug Baldwin has been doing it all year. He's one of the greatest receivers in the league. He's quick, he's fast, can make all the plays, and that played showed that today. Especially in the cold, think about that."

Sherman, meanwhile, started and played in all 59 defensive snaps and 38 percent of special teams snaps. He finished the day with six tackles, all of which were solo, a tackle for a loss and a pass defended. Sherman's tackle for a loss was a solo stop against Adrian Peterson, which helped him earn a +1.9 Pro Football Focus grade for the game.

Sherman also was named second team All-Pro by the AP, narrowly missing his fourth consecutive All-Pro first-team selection.

In other wild-card playoff games this past weekend, former Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro and his Pittsburgh Steelers advanced with a 18-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City eliminated Houston, 30-0.

DeCastro started and appeared in every offensive play. The All-America selection at Stanford helped the Steelers rush for 167 yards on 29 carries (5.8 yards/carry) and also made one tackle as the result of a Pittsburgh turnover.

On Jan. 8, DeCastro was named an AP All-Pro first-teamer, the first such honor on his career. DeCastro was the top performer on one of the best offensive lines in the league. Pittsburgh led the AFC with 395.4 yards per game and 287.7 passing yards/game, which were both good for third best in the NFL. DeCastro, a former first-rounder, has started 41 consecutive games and helped Pittsburgh go 21-11 in its past two regular seasons.

Pittsburgh will visit Denver on Sunday (1:40 p.m., CBS) and Kansas City will visit the New England Patriots on Saturday (1:35 p.m., CBS).

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Packers.com and Seahawks.com

Comments

3 people like this
Posted by Year?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2016 at 11:52 am

Since the article doesn't mention it, it looks like Davante Adams was class of 2011--he was born in December 1992, according to Wikipedia.


1 person likes this
Posted by GraceBrown
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 12, 2016 at 7:44 pm

GraceBrown is a registered user.

Mr. Adams was a member of the championship Paly Viking team that won the state championship in 2010. What an team! Coach Hansen often said that this team was a special group of players - watching Davante play, it's pretty clear that Hansen got it right.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

He said – she said – who is lying? Justice Brett Kavanaugh or PA resident Christine Ford
By Diana Diamond | 69 comments | 5,988 views

Let's Talk Internships
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 908 views

Couples: Sex and Connection (Chicken or Egg?)
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 723 views

Zucchini Takeover
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 658 views