Week 2 against the Vikings was interesting to say the least. If you are a Packers fan and haven’t been living in a cave you know about the controversial roughing the passer penalty that cost Green Bay the win. However, I am not writing this article to focus on the bad of week 2, I am writing to focus on the positive and give a “Defensive Player of the Week.”
Defensive lineman Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels had solid games, as well as Blake Martinez, but it was Jaire Alexander who earned the “Defensive Player of the Week.”
In week 2, Alexander had 8 tackles (1.5 of them for a loss) and 0.5 sacks. Half of a sack does not seem impressive but in a game where Green Bay struggled to get to the quarterback, being involved in 1 of the 2 sacks stands out. Throughout the entire game, Alexander seemed to play well beyond his years. He diagnosed plays and was a constant thorn in Minnesota’s side. By watching him cover star receivers like Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, somebody who never watches football would not guess he is a rookie. His best play of the game was an interception caught 55 yards downfield that was called back by the questionable Clay Matthews’ penalty. The ball was snapped and Minnesota wide receiver, Stacey Coley, took off in a streak down the field. Alexander showed off his athleticism by sprinting stride for stride with the shifty receiver and catching the ball like his offensive counterpart, Davante Adams. USA Today’s Packers writer, Zach Kruse, stated Alexander was an instrumental part of the Packers week 2 defense. He also added that, “the rookie looks like the real deal.” I couldn’t agree more.
Through two games of the Green Bay season, Jaire Alexander is 5th on the team in tackles ahead of guys like Nick Perry, Clay Matthews, and Muhammad Wilkerson. On Sunday, the Packers take on the Washington Redskins and Alexander will have to keep up his great play against a veteran quarterback like Alex Smith.