Monday Night will be an Excellent Test for Jaire Alexander

Jaire Alexander is off to an excellent start this season and he will have a big test on Monday night with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley coming to Titletown. 

From the moment Jaire Alexander stepped on the field in a Green Bay Packers' uniform, you could that he had that "it" quality. From his confidence to his swag and, most importantly, his ability, Alexander has the makings of being one of the NFL's top cover corners. 

In 2019, we saw Alexander take that step forward in Year 2 that so many successful NFL players make. He totaled 14 pass breakups, came away with two interceptions and allowed a completion rate of only 57.7 percent on 104 targets. Perhaps what makes his stats even more impressive is that Alexander is oftentimes covering the opposing team's top receiver. 

Now, there are, of course, areas that he has to work on as his aggressiveness can get the best of him at times, which leads to big plays and he could be more consistent as well. However, some of that is to be expected with a young corner, yet Alexander entered Year 3 as confident as ever (via Packers Wire):

“I feel like this is the most confident I’ve been in my technique and in my game." Later, he added: “When I lock in and when I master my craft, the sky is the limit.”

And it wasn't just Alexander who was confident in his game, but also Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire, who ranked Alexander as the 6th best zone coverage corner in the NFL entering this season, while Pro Football Focus called him the "NFL's next shutdown corner." Through three weeks of the 2020 season, Alexander has backed those rankings up. 

On 14 targets this season, Alexander has given up nine completions but is holding opponents to a measly 9.2 yards per catch along with only 16 total yards after the catch, and quarterbacks have a passer rating of just 56.3 when throwing his direction. This includes a performance in New Orleans where he was targeted only two times, allowing one catch for -2 yards.

We've also seen Alexander come up with those splash plays, such as the safety on Kirk Cousins in Week 1, the interception a short while later, and him blowing up a play in the flat thrown to the elusive Alvin Kamara.

Many believe that it's just a matter of time before Alexander is an NFL All-Pro, and with the way he's played the first three weeks, we may be witnessing it already. 

But on Monday night, Alexander and the rest of this Green Bay Packers' secondary will have what is easily their biggest test of the season as they'll have to face Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons.

Despite the Falcons 0-3 record, this offense is lethal. They are fourth in total yards per game, ninth in points per game, and their explosive pass rate of 10 percent is the 10th highest rate in the NFL. This certainly isn't a unit to take lightly.

We are all well aware of Jones and the havoc that he can wreak, but Ridley and his big-play ability has flown under the radar a bit. Prior to Sunday's games, Ridley's 349 receiving yards were the second most among receivers, his four touchdowns led the way, and he's the only receiver to post over 100 yards in all three games this season. 

The last time these two teams met, Jones had his way with a young Alexander and the Packers' secondary, hauling in eight receptions for 106 yards with two touchdowns. Ridely, also a rookie at that time, had a much quieter game with only one reception for 10 yards. But this is a more experienced and savvy Jaire Alexander that Julio will be facing this time around, which isn't to say he won't find some success, but Alexander is a better player. 

While it's not only going to be Alexander who is tested, but Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, and the Packer safeties as well, all eyes will be on Jaire as he has a tremendous opportunity in front of him to build upon what has been a solid season and doing it against one of, if not the best receiver duo in the NFL.

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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Comments (31)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
splitpea1's picture

October 05, 2020 at 12:21 pm

We'll need the entire secondary to play well if we're going to win: excellent coverage, sure tackling, passes defended, and a turnover or two wouldn't hurt, either.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

October 05, 2020 at 12:50 pm

This game has the makings of a shootout and GBs offense is a bit underpowered this week. Turnovers could easily decide this one.

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Stroh's picture

October 05, 2020 at 05:29 pm

"Turnovers could easily decide this one." That doesn't really separate it from any other NFL game. Turnovers are the deciding factor is just able EVERY NFL game!

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 05, 2020 at 07:51 pm

Thought King wuld match up with Julio. He player him pretty well as a rookie.

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PatrickGB's picture

October 05, 2020 at 12:43 pm

A successful run game and completions to the TE’s would keep the Packers moving and eat up the clock. That would limit the TOP for the birds. Right now our best defense is our offense. But my guess is that they will rack up some yards and points none-the-less.

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CoachDino's picture

October 05, 2020 at 03:39 pm

Agreed, The Packers strength is the Offense, if they play as you described and the defense plays as they have in the past it should be another victory. Losing your 1 and 2 WR is tough but this offense is schemed better than most to overcome.

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CoachDino's picture

October 05, 2020 at 03:39 pm

Agreed, The Packers strength is the Offense, if they play as you described and the defense plays as they have in the past it should be another victory. Losing your 1 and 2 WR is tough but this offense is schemed better than most to overcome.

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Stroh's picture

October 05, 2020 at 05:32 pm

Other than Adams, who doesn't need help to get open, the scheme is what helps every other WR and TE on the roster. Hell the scheme accounted for both of Lazards big plays last week (neither of which he had the speed or athleticism to get into the End Zone).

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Coldworld's picture

October 05, 2020 at 12:52 pm

I thought Alexander was one of the less likely to play. Hope you are right, though Jones could be a match up suited to King.

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tm_inter's picture

October 05, 2020 at 01:26 pm

Alexander did not practice on Saturday and was listed among the questionables due to injuries to both hand and knee.

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Stroh's picture

October 05, 2020 at 05:36 pm

On the surface the obvious matchup for Julio would be King, but its Alexanders competitiveness that gets him that matchup more often than not.

Secondly, the Packers don't usually have the CB travel, unless its to match Alexander specifically on a certain WR for the opponent (as was the case last year w/ Amari Cooper). Since Atl has in essence two #1 WR, its likely they each play their side more often than not.

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dobber's picture

October 05, 2020 at 06:52 pm

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Lphill's picture

October 05, 2020 at 01:48 pm

Is Alexander even playing ? He's on injury reports as questionable on several sites.

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Coldworld's picture

October 05, 2020 at 03:11 pm

Don’t loiter outside Lambeau tonight unless you want to wake up in green and gold in the middle of a bowl with big angry men charging at you.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 05, 2020 at 02:17 pm

Hope Alexander plays. The Falcons have the best tandem in the NFL. Their 3rd, Russell Gage, was awesome too, but I think he's on IR. Then they've got a TE who can play too... and a good OL.

We are going to have our hands full without a proven NFL WR. Hope KC plays. Making them somewhat one dimensional would really help, and that's hopeless without him.

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Demon's picture

October 05, 2020 at 03:02 pm

I have been here at the CHTV site for about 3 yrs now. I would like to thank Jersey Al, A Nagler, and the other CHTV writers for the great work.

I also would like to thank my fellow commenters Since 61, dobber, taryn12 and the rest of you.

I am signing out of CHTV and will not return. (I know nobody cares) regardless I dont believe that I should be called stupid or a dumbass or a neo nazi or Adolf Hitler by ANYONE! behavior such as this must violate a terms of use agreement I would assume.

I have been called all the above by a certain commenter here on several occasions yet he still remains.

Take care everyone and go pack

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Coldworld's picture

October 05, 2020 at 03:50 pm

I’ve been called many things over the years. Some fair, some not. I generally see it as saying as much about the speaker as me. That is true when reading comments about others as well.

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dobber's picture

October 05, 2020 at 04:31 pm

It makes me sad when anyone feels unwelcome here.

Be well!

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Leatherhead's picture

October 05, 2020 at 07:28 pm

Translation: I repeatedly took shots at a guy who fired back and that's not fair so I want him silenced . He said we should just ignore each other, but I don't want anybody to see his stuff and so since that isn't happening I'm unhappy

I don't see why he called me a Neo Nazi just because I want him punished for saying things I don't like.

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Coldworld's picture

October 05, 2020 at 03:47 pm

Reggie Bagelton signed to the roster. I suspect that means EQ us not close as they could have just elevated him. Instead Winn elevated for the second time along with the ILB, Harris.

Congratulations to Bagelton on making it to an NFL roster the long way. Hard to do.

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cheesehead1's picture

October 05, 2020 at 03:55 pm

Congrats to Reggie, I’m pulling for you.

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dobber's picture

October 05, 2020 at 04:31 pm

My understanding is that ESB is not eligible to come off IR until after this game (meaning after the bye week).

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Stroh's picture

October 05, 2020 at 05:41 pm

That is my understanding as well. Even if he is eligible, the matter of conditioning then takes precedence, and clearly EQ would not be anywhere near the level of conditioning needed to play an NFL game!

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Coldworld's picture

October 05, 2020 at 05:57 pm

He isn’t. I was referencing the fact that they could have just elevated Bagelton for 2 weeks either side of the Bye if EQ was close.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 05, 2020 at 07:11 pm

That is my understanding as well.

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egbertsouse's picture

October 05, 2020 at 05:15 pm

I haven’t heard anything about Jaire but I heard that Savage is inactive. That isn’t good but maybe a bigger safety will work just as well.

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dobber's picture

October 05, 2020 at 06:55 pm

Savage was not on the injury report this week. He's active tonight.

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scullyitsme's picture

October 05, 2020 at 05:18 pm

Pack by 16 tonight. Screw the “falcons have talent line” they have talent but they don’t have team. They lack discipline and Matt LaFleur has his team coached up and primed. Matt Ryan even on his good days is good for two picks.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 05, 2020 at 07:16 pm

They have a bad defense. If Rodgers and Jones are getting blocking, then I don't think a bad defense is going to slow things down very much. We could totally hit our average, at home, against a bad defense.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 05, 2020 at 07:18 pm

Triple

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Leatherhead's picture

October 05, 2020 at 07:17 pm

Double

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