The Green Bay Packers may have lost a couple of tentpole veterans over the offseason, but they certainly haven’t lost their swagger.
Perhaps no one on the roster exemplifies that swagger better than DB Jaire Alexander. The star cornerback was at it again after the Packers trounced the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday, September 10, while neutralizing top wide receiver D.J. Moore in his Bears debut.
Media members asked Alexander about Moore’s lack of production during a postgame interview and true to form, the CB didn’t hold back.
“Yeah, it was real quiet for him,” Alexander said, per Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. “I don’t know if anybody thought anything else was gonna happen.”
Packers Secondary Dominated Bears Offense in Week 1
Moore finished the day with just two catches for 25 yards. Perhaps more impressively, though, he was targeted just twice, which speaks to how effectively Green Bay’s defense smothered a receiver who has amassed three 1,000-yard seasons through his first five NFL campaigns.
It wasn’t just Moore who struggled Sunday, as Chicago finished the afternoon with just 216 passing yards — a tally that dropped to 189 yards on the final stat sheet after figuring in the four sacks the Packers logged for a total loss of 27 yards.
Wide receiver Darnell Mooney was moderately effective with four catches for 53 yards and one touchdown. However, Bears QB Justin Fields spent most of his time throwing underneath or in the mid-range. Fields connected on 24 passes on the day, 11 of which went to the team’s three running backs. Tight end Cole Kmet also finished with five grabs for 44 yards. All told, Fields completed 67% of his passes to RBs and TEs, which speaks to how well the Packers covered the Bears’ downfield threats.
Green Bay’s defense also broke up three passes, while linebacker Quay Walker added a defensive touchdown on an impressive 37-yard interception return.
Jaire Alexander Sparks Newest Division Rivalry With D.J. Moore
Alexander is no stranger to trash talk or to division rivalries with top-flight wide receivers. His most famous competitor is All-Pro Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings, with whom Alexander has built a fun and acrimonious history over just a short time.
The Packers CB famously “hit the griddy” on Jefferson after denying him a reception during a late-season blowout in January. The move is Jefferson’s signature on-field celebration.
“That was fun,” Alexander told CBS during an interview last month. “I said all [that] week [Jefferson’s big game against me] was a fluke. So when he came into Lambeau, he thought he was gonna come in there griddying, but I was the one griddying. That’s all it was. It was just fun.”
The Vikings star WR didn’t respond significantly in the moment, mostly brushing Alexander off. However, Jefferson did come back at Alexander after the cornerback’s comments in August.
“It’s just him talking at the end of the day. Nobody is really worried about him,” Jefferson told CBS in response. “If you really see the ‘mic’d up’ and everything, they had they intentions to really take me out of the game. Everything about that day was to take me out the game, to not let me catch a ball, to do things to really take me out my game.”
“You can’t call a 180-yarder a fluke. That’s something that’s not a fluke. You can’t just walk up on 180 yards in the NFL, especially being one of the top players,” Jefferson continued. “For him to do a griddy off an incomplete pass is very funny to me. It just goes to show you the amount of attention that he was trying to give me.”
Jefferson should get plenty of attention again when the teams square off at Lambeau Field on October 29. The budding rivalry between Alexander and Moore won’t offer an encore presentation until Week 18 on January 7, when the Packers and Bears meet in each team’s final game of the season.