The Packers suffered a heart-breaking but not season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday, 29-27. However, this loss was not a result of the Green Bay defense playing poorly. They started out the game well by allowing 0 points and only 38 total yards in the first quarter and continued that momentum throughout the entire game. Sure, they gave up 29 points but the Rams have one of the best offenses in the league and the defense did their job by keeping the game within striking distance.
There were a lot of very good individual performances by Packer defenders in the Week 8 loss. As usual, Blake Martinez was solid and racked up 12 total tackles including 2 tackles for a loss and a sack. He had a couple of 3rd down stops were he diagnosed the offensive plays beautifully and forced the Rams to punt. Kenny Clark, a player that should be in the conversation as one of the best defensive tackles in the league, had another impactful game. He ended the game with 5 tackles, 3 quarterback hits, and 2 sacks. All season, Kenny Clark has been a beast and last Sunday proved to be no different. Clay Matthews, who has been disappointing this year, produced a throwback game like it was 2010. He had 7 tackles, 2 quarterback hits, and a sack. It was nice to see Matthews have a good game after how the season has been going for him.
The Week 8 “Defensive Player of the Week,” was none other than Jaire Alexander. The rookie had an amazing game. The Rams went after him constantly and time after time he made big plays. Alexander ended the game with 7 tackles (all of them solo tackles), and 5 pass deflections. If a defensive back has 2 or 3 pass deflections, that’s a solid game, but 5 is unreal. He had his best sequence of plays with about 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The Rams snapped the ball and handed it off to Brandin Cooks on a jet sweep, Alexander made a GREAT open field tackle that prevented a 20-yard gain at the least. The very next play, Rams quarterback, Jared Goff, threw a pass downfield that was deflected by Alexander. The defensive back was locked in all afternoon and nothing was getting past him. Even nationally recognized sports reporter, Colin Cowherd, tweeted about Alexander’s game. He said,
Jaire Alexander is jaw dropping good for Green Bay. Seriously. Almost four hours of making plays all over the field. Intimidated by nothing.
Thank you, Mr. Cowherd. I could not have stated it better myself.
*Stats according to espn.com*