Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s fumbling in the second overtime game to set up the Indianapolis Colts’ winning basket came moments after the Green Bay Packers wide receiver fired a 47-meter-deep ball from Aaron Rodgers that led to the match. And field goal tie in the last seconds of the regulation.
This is Valdes-Scantling in a hot seat: an electrifying capture at the back of the field one game and an infuriating mistake the next.
“I know he’s hurting right now,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said after Sunday’s 34-31 loss. “He’s done so many plays for us and not just in the passing game but in the running game, things you probably won’t even notice that we don’t get the distance we get if he doesn’t block his ass.
While Valdes-Scantling only had three catches for 55 yards, LaFleur indicated the interference penalty on the pass he drew at the end of the second quarter, which instituted a touchdown to give the Packers a lead. 28-14 at halftime. It was a 51-yard penalty kick to Colt’s cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.
“I can live with MVS, and we’re going to continue to live with him and just hope that he can continue to get better and better and better,” LaFleur said. “And I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him.”
Rodgers made a similar claim.
“I have a lot of love for Marquez,” said Rodgers, who threw a swing pass to Valdes-Scantling in the left flat on the second play of overtime, only to see the ball knocked away by Julian Blackmon and recovered by DeForest Buckner. “I see the guy every single day, see how much he cares about it. It happens, unfortunately. A lot of it is fundamentals, carrying the ball, but I’ve had my fair share of fumbles. It was just bad timing. … But that stuff happens. He made a big play at the end of regulation to kind of get us going on third-and-10. Disappointed for him, disappointed for us.”
Valdes-Scantling, who has not been made available for post-game interviews, said in a tweet that he received a massive amount of death threats after the match but noted his team was backing him.
Valdes-Scantling’s first career was at rock bottom in 42 games, but he was underperforming with drops and missed opportunities. He entered the game 152nd out of 153 receivers qualified in catch rate (50%), according to ESPN Stats & Information. He was down by 50% until he caught four of his six goals against the Jaguars last week and is in second place among drop-qualified receivers (five).
The Packers hoped he would be leading and more consistent after his previous two games – four 133-yard catches against the Jaguars and two touchdowns during the last game against the 49ers. Instead, it was another overtime game in which Rodgers barely got a chance to work some of the magic he did at the end of the settlement. However, there were questions about the last shot for a field goal and why where he hit the ball twice instead of taking another shot. or two in the final area.
There were also questions about the fourth and 1 – and play call decision – from the 34-yard line of the Colts in a 31-28 game with 3:11 left in the rules. Rodgers threw an incomplete pass that was intended to reverse Jamaal Williams.
Rodgers made two of the three sales and fell to 2-8-1 in overtime games, including the playoffs. He attempted 17 overtime passes in those games and lost four times without touching the ball and three times on turnover.