The Minnesota Vikings’ Justin Jefferson is probably the best wide receiver in the National Football League.
He currently leads the NFL with 123 receptions and 1,756 receiving yards, and will very likely break Calvin “Megatron” Johnson’s single-season record of 1,964 yards within the next two games — and could even accomplish it this Sunday (he needs 209 yards to do so).
His magical campaign started with an elite performance against the Green Bay Packers, where he had nine catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns. That was just a preview of what was to come for the rest of the season.
But don’t tell that to Jaire Alexander.
The Packers corner isn’t buying into the hype heading into their matchup on Sunday.
“You’ve just got to be real: He don’t jump in no super suit and get dressed and jump outside, you hear me?” Alexander said, via ESPN. “I don’t either, sometimes. But he [is] human, is what I’m saying. We ain’t putting too much on nobody.
“He’s a really good receiver. But at the end of the day, I’m a really good corner. We’ve got really good corners, we’ve got really good linebackers, D-line, whatever it is. You don’t want to put too much focus on that one person because it’s, like, the first game — that was a fluke.”
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That’s quite the bold statement — while Jefferson’s 2022 campaign is likely not repeatable, the LSU product was a second-team All-Pro receiver in his first two NFL seasons. He also broke Randy Moss’ record for most receiving yards in a player’s first three seasons back in Week 12. Even if he somehow comes up short of Megatron, he’ll be a first-teamer and may even get some MVP consideration.
However, Alexander does have a slight case, at least in terms of what Jefferson has done against the Packers.
In his NFL debut, which came against Green Bay in 2020, he was held to two catches for 26 yards. Six weeks later, he had only three receptions for the same amount of yards.
However, in two games against the Packers the following season, he combined for 14 catches for 227 yards and two scores. Reminder: His Week 1 numbers this season alone were pretty close to that.
Sure, the Vikings and Packers constitute an intriguing NFC North rivalry, but Sunday is as close to a must-win for Green Bay as it could get: They will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss along with a win by either the Detroit Lions or the Washington Commanders.
Alexander will have to back up his talk if his team has any hope of staying alive in Week 18.
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