The Green Bay Packers have a storied rivalry with the Minnesota Vikings, but All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander has started to develop a rivalry of his own with star wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
After a frustrating matchup in the 2022 season opener between the two star players, Alexander got some revenge in the first quarter of their Week 17 matchup. After breaking up a pass intended for the All-Pro wide receiver, Alexander taunted him by hitting Jefferson’s signature Griddy dance in front of him. CBS Sports tweeted the video shortly after.
Just a few plays later, the Packers were able to get a third-down stop that resulted in an interception returned for a touchdown by safety Darnell Savage. The former first-round pick had been benched earlier this season, but that was the kind of play that he needed to regain some confidence as the team tries to make a late playoff run.
There was still plenty of football left to be played after the Packers took the 14-3 lead, but it was clear that the team’s defense was energized for the NFC North rivalry game.
Jaire Alexander’s Pro Bowl Season
It hasn’t been the best season from defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s defense, but Alexander has found a way to continue being one of the most productive cornerbacks in the league.
The 25-year-old has developed into a star in Green Bay. Coming out of Louisville, Alexander was taken with the 18th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Since then, he has been named a second-team All-Pro in 2020 and a two-time Pro Bowler in 2020 and 2022.
This season has been especially productive for Alexander. After signing a four-year, $84 million extension this offseason, Alexander has been able to stay healthy while racking up 41 solo tackles, five interceptions, and 13 pass deflections heading into Week 17. That production was impressive enough that Alexander was named Green Bay’s only preferred Pro Bowler this season.
Now, Alexander will need to continue playing a high level if the Packers want to have any hopes of making it into the playoffs.
Is Justin Jefferson the Best WR in the NFL?
He may only be in his third NFL season, but Jefferson has established himself as arguably the most talented wide receiver in the league.
The 22nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, Jefferson wasted no time bursting onto the scene for the Vikings. In three seasons for the team heading into Week 17, Jefferson has racked up 319 catches for 4,772 yards and 25 touchdowns. His accolades include three straight Pro Bowl appearances and two second-team All-Pro selections.
The 23-year-old currently leads the NFL with 123 receptions and 1,756 yards through 15 games. First-year Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell has helped take the young receiver’s game to the next level, and it doesn’t even look like he’s reached his ceiling yet.
Still, there’s a lot of competition in today’s NFL for the title of the league’s best wide receiver. Jefferson’s former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase has thrived in Cincinnati with Joe Burrow, while Cooper Kupp was a Super Bowl MVP and triple crown winner just last season after leading the league in catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Even former Packers receiver Davante Adams has consistently been in that conversation.
Regardless, at only 23 years old, it’s remarkable what Jefferson has been able to do in Minnesota in just three seasons with the team.