I think it’s safe to say the Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling has had quite the roller coaster of a year.
From opening the season against Minnesota with four catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, to five games with one catch or less, many Packers’ fans were starting to scratch their heads when guessing which MVS will show up on Sundays.
Will we see the MVS that speeds past his defender and catches four balls for 149 yards and a touchdown like he did against Jacksonville? Or will we see the MVS that can sometimes drop passes and fumble the ball like he did against Indianapolis?
Some reporters, fans and fantasy football owners gave up on MVS after that Indianapolis game – in which the Packers lost in overtime by a field goal.
“How can you live with MVS?”
Yes, I’ll admit I’ve had my moments where I’ve been disappointed in the fifth-round draft pick from the 2018 NFL Draft.
However, there’s also been moments where MVS delivers.
It seems as if he’s truly starting to peak at the right time. Last Sunday against the Lions, when Davante was double covered and shadowed at some points, it was Valdes-Scantling who came through and delivered.
He was solid in many forms of route-running, catching all six of his targets for 85 yards. The most exciting thing fans saw from him was his 14-yard touchdown catch at the start of the second quarter.
MVS identified the opportunity for a back-shoulder throw, and showed tremendous body control and strong hands on the catch – an opportunity he missed against the Falcons earlier in the year.
Maybe the biggest lesson that the Packers and their fans can take away about MVS is exactly in that catch. He didn’t deliver earlier in the year on one opportunity, but he did later. The guy is still growing.
Patience is a virtue.
Just ask Davante Adams, who fans were ready to send packing in his rookie year that saw drops and development. People wanted to see Jeff Janis out there over Davante for goodness sake.
Now Adams has a strong case as the best receiver in the league.
If you don’t like that comparison, ask Packer legend Jordy Nelson – who posted very similar numbers to MVS after 45 games.
After 45 NFL Games:— PackersHistory.com (@PackersHistory1) December 14, 2020
Jordy Nelson: 100 Rec, 1268 Yards, 6 TDs
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 95 Rec, 1636 Yards, 9 TDs
This is just to say, for the love of god, be patient. Let guys develop and don’t give up on talented football players.
Nelson had 30 TDs in his next 45 games…
It’s obvious the Packers haven’t given up on MVS. So you shouldn’t either.
“I can live with MVS,” Matt LaFleur said after the Indianapolis game. “I’ve got more confidence in him now than probably ever. I think he continues to get better each and every day. Every time we go out there, he’s providing big plays.”
Those big plays are going to continue to be important down the stretch for the Packers. And if Sunday’s solid game against the Lions is any indication for how MVS will play at the most important time of the year, maybe the ups and downs will all be worth it.——————
Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.