GREEN BAY, Wis. — Midway by the primary quarter Sunday at Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander broke up a go meant for Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson. It was an innocuous second on the time — till Alexander beginning celebrating.
Alexander hit the “Griddy,” Jefferson’s signature dance, whereas trying again at him over his left shoulder. The transfer symbolized a reversal of fortunes for the 2 gamers and their groups. The Packers held Jefferson to a career-low one reception for 15 yards of their 41-17 victory, after he burned them for 11 receptions, 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 1.
Speaking afterward, Jefferson stated he thought the celebration ought to have earned Alexander a taunting penalty. But he wasn’t shocked to see it after Alexander instructed reporters final week that Jefferson’s Week 1 efficiency was a “fluke.”
“He does stuff like that to try get in my head and stuff like that,” Jefferson stated. “It is what it is. Even from his comments leading into this game, it’s just talk. It’s just trying to give him that booster, that confidence, to go out there and guard me. We are probably going to see this team in the playoffs. So I guess we’ll see then.”
Alexander, in the meantime, stated he received a talking-to from the coaches after his feedback to reporters final week.
“What did I tell them? Shoot, I just told them, I’m just being honest,” Alexander stated. “That’s it.”
Alexander additionally instructed the coaches he needed to cowl Jefferson greater than he did in Week 1, when Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry performed a excessive quantity of zone and off protection. On Sunday, Alexander lined up throughout from Jefferson 20 instances, with no different Packers defender lining up throughout from Jefferson greater than twice, in keeping with NFL Next Gen Stats. Alexander was on Jefferson on 65% of his routes versus 36% in Week 1.
After holding Jefferson with out a catch within the first half and to only one reception for 15 yards the complete sport, Packers coach Matt LaFleur stated: “I know Jaire chirped a little bit, but he backed it up.”
Alexander stated he by no means talked to Jefferson after the sport.
“I don’t think he wanted to talk to me,” Alexander stated.
Jefferson was pissed off however calm whereas talking to reporters within the Minnesota locker room. The Vikings are 12-4, however their losses have come by a median of twenty-two.3 factors, and their 16-game level differential is -19.
Jefferson stated, “We’ve got to fix” the truth that “when we lose, we lose bad,” however added there’s solely a lot he can do on his personal.
“I finally came to the realization that I made my mark in this league,” he stated, “and every single game they are not going to let me get 100 yards. They’re going to do whatever is in their power to not let me get to that type of numbers.
“And secondly, it is powerful to try this twice on the identical workforce. To get 100-plus yards on the identical workforce is unquestionably troublesome. That goes to indicate you that they don’t seem to be doing their job if that occurs. It’s undoubtedly powerful, getting one catch within the sport, eager to be a giant a part of the offense, eager to make massive performs for us, and never ready to try this is unquestionably arduous on myself.”
The low manufacturing may also have stalled Jefferson’s run on the NFL file books. He is 194 yards wanting breaking Calvin Johnson’s mark for receiving yards in a season heading into the Vikings’ Week 18 sport on the Chicago Bears.