Packers: Jaire Alexander has a point to prove in playoffs

Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander has a point to prove in the playoffs.

Four first-team All-Pros highlights what a great season it has been for the Green Bay Packers.

However, one name was missing from the first team. Star cornerback Jaire Alexander has put together his best season yet and established himself as one of the top players at his position in the NFL.

Yet despite being Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated cornerback this year and shutting down many of the best wide receivers the Packers faced, he wasn’t part of the first team.

Make no mistake, being voted to the Pro Bowl and named a second-team All-Pro is a great accomplishment and very much deserved for Alexander. But many Packers fans were left surprised when his name wasn’t included in the first team.

Alexander now has an opportunity in the playoffs, in front of bigger audiences, to show the world what Packers fans have enjoyed all season. No matter which team visits Lambeau Field next week, and potentially the week after, Alexander will come up against great receivers.

If it’s the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round, Alexander will see a lot of Cooper Kupp (assuming he’s healthy) and Robert Woods. If it’s the Chicago Bears, Alexander will battle with Allen Robinson for a third time this season.

Alexander often covered Robinson in Week 17 and the Bears’ star receiver was held to just two catches in the entire game.

In a matchup with the Rams, on the opposite sideline would be a cornerback who did make the first team, Jalen Ramsey.

Both Alexander and Ramsey had great seasons, but many believe the Packers’ corner should’ve made the first team. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus wrote about why Alexander should’ve been the selection ahead of Ramsey:

"“Jalen Ramsey had similar yardage numbers, but Alexander had more pass breakups (13 to eight) and allowed a lower passer rating when targeted than the Los Angeles Rams star (68.3 to 73.0).”"

Hard to argue.

If there’s one criticism of Alexander’s game it’s that he doesn’t get enough interceptions. But it’s hard to make multiple picks when quarterbacks tend to avoid throwing your way.

And while Alexander has dropped a couple of opportunities not just this year but also last, he is great at forcing turnovers.

Take last week against the Bears as an example. Mitch Trubisky threw short to Cole Kmet. As he often does, Alexander read the situation perfectly and raced to Kmet to make a tackle for a small gain. But instead of being satisfied with the tackle, Alexander got his hand on the football and ripped it out of Kmet’s hands before he hit the ground.

In 2019, Alexander made a similar play against Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant.

And while not getting many interceptions, one of Alexander’s strengths is breaking up passes and deflecting the ball away. He leads the Packers with 13 pass defenses this season.

Alexander should’ve been a first-team All-Pro and he now has the chance to show why in the playoffs.

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