Overall, the Patriots defense seemed to have a solid joint practice against the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday. Except they had no answer for All-Pro wideout Davante Adams.
To be fair, who does have an answer for that guy? But it was the one glaring issue that the Patriots had throughout Tuesday’s joint practice in Henderson, Nev. Based on early reports out of Wednesday’s session, though, Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills had himself a bounceback day against Adams in 1-on-1 drills.
You can watch above for one of Mills’ reps against Adams, via Jim McBride of the Boston Globe. Mills appears to briefly look back for the ball, avoiding a would-be flag for pass interference, and gets in the way of Adams and the pass attempt for a breakup. Mills went 2-0 against Adams, according to Evan Lazar of Patriots.com, and also broke up a pass for Tyon Johnson, per NESN’s Zack Cox.
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Based on reporting in team drills, however, Adams resumed his regularly scheduled dominance in 7-on-7 red zone drills. According to Zack Cox, he beat Mills and rookie Marcus Jones once each, and Jonathan Jones twice. Terrance Mitchell was the only one to break up a pass against Adams.
Adams later beat rookie cornerback Jack Jones for a long touchdown in 11-on-11, according to Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. So, yeah, there’s a reason why Adams was a First Team All-Pro in each of the last two seasons.
Adams will be a mismatch for perhaps every single cornerback in the National Football League, so the Patriots’ struggles to contain him shouldn’t be much cause for alarm. But if Jonathan Jones is going to play most of his snaps on the boundary this season, the Patriots may run into some tough matchups against teams that can deploy multiple big outside receivers.
Ultimately, it’s a positive sign for Mills that he was able to bounce back and make a couple of plays against Adams, and that the secondary as a whole came back ready to compete after a tough start to joint practices.
Aug 4, 2022; Canton, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams (left) and quarterback Derek Carr run before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots and Raiders are set for a preseason matchup on Friday night at Allegiant Stadium, in their final tuneups before the games start to count. For that reason, we can reasonably expect to see both teams’ starters for an appreciable amount of time.
We’ll continue to keep you updated on the Patriots as they approach the end of the preseason here at 985TheSportsHub.com. Click here for a collection of reports from day 2 of joint practices.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at email@example.com.