Green Bay Packers

The MVS Slander Must Stop

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers lost their third game of the season on Nov. 22 to the Indianapolis Colts. It was a hard fought game. It went into overtime. The Packers unfortunately fumbled the ball and lost the game.

The cause of the fumble? Marquez Valdes-Scantling. And while it was a tough loss for everyone, no one took it harder than No. 83.

One of the worst parts of social media right now is that terrible fans have instant access to their favorite athletes and teams. The insults hit the wide receiver’s timelines right away. Fans have the right to be upset or tweet their frustration. They shouldn’t, but they do.

And then MVS tweeted this Sunday night:

Then, a reporter asked this question:

MVS did fumble the football, and that did lead to the Green Bay Packers losing. What he didn’t do was cause the other four turnovers. He didn’t allow the Colts to pick up a first down when it was 3rd and 19 during the fourth quarter. He didn’t miss a screen pass on 4th and 1 instead of running the ball. He didn’t waste a bunch of clock at the end of the fourth quarter that could have been a game-winning touchdown instead of tying field goal.

What Valdes-Scantling did was have a solid rest of the game. On paper, he only had three receptions for 55 yards. But, one of those was a 47-yard pass that helped the Packers send the game into overtime. He also drew a pass interference call near the goal line right before halftime. It led to a Packers touchdown and a 14-point lead.

Valdes-Scantling currently has 518 yards through 10 games. That is more total yards than Michael Gallup, Christian Kirk, Chris Godwin and Jarvis Landry. He has four touchdowns on the year. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is the same amount as DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs and DeVante Parker. MVS is also averaging more yards a game than a lot of receivers, including Mike Evans. His numbers will be all career bests before the end of the season.

And that fumble on Sunday? It was the first of his career.

Yes, Valdes-Scantling has had issues with drops during his three years with the Packers. But another receiver was also criticized in 2015 for dropping passes early in his tenure with the Packers. That receiver was Davante Adams.

MVS was also thrust into a pretty tough spotlight in 2020. Devin Funchess opted out before the season began. Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown and Adams have all had injuries this year. If anything, Valdes-Scantling has been their most consistent receiver so far when it comes to staying on the field.

The fumble may have been the immediate focus of the Packers’ loss, but the outpouring of support for MVS was the real story after the game.

Besides the immediate support of head coach Matt LaFleur, the receiver’s teammates flooded Twitter in support. Elgton Jenkins, Christian Kirksey, Robert Tonyan, Adams, Aaron Jones and many others came to his defense and responded to his tweets.

Aaron Rodgers also defended his receiver during several appearances, including his post game presser, The Jim Rome Show and The Pat McAfee Show. Rodgers even pointed out on McAfee’s show that MVS leads the NFL in yards per reception and ranks third for the most 40-yard receptions since 2018.

MVS also met with the media on Tuesday, stating that he felt responsible to face questions when he experiences both ends, whether it be after a career game or the lowest point. That type of honesty and openness is amazing to see from athletes. It’s raw and real and reminds people that these athletes aren’t untouchable superheroes, they are human.

And humans on Twitter also enjoy a good clapback. Even MVS had a moment after he discovered a Packers media person called the receiver “dumb.”

He has since apologized and deleted the tweet. But it’s a good reminder that social media posts can be forever. Athletes aren’t just robots we can yell insults into the abyss about. They see them and can also by affected by them. And reporters who have media credentials to the Packers should never be calling those players dumb. That’s a thought that stays inside.

MVS is in the third year of his four-year deal. He is having a decent year and has been making huge plays for the Packers all season. He just has to move on, learn from his mistakes and hopefully have three touchdowns against the Bears.

There is plenty of season and contract left for Valdes-Scantling. He is saying the right things, doing the right things and playing on a 7-3 team that has a chance to win the Super Bowl.

I’ve always been a fan of No. 83, and will continue to be one.

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