Alexander, Packers defense shuts down Jefferson, Vikings offense to keep playoff hopes alive

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass between Green Bay Packers...
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass between Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) and safety Adrian Amos (31) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)(Morry Gash | AP)
Published: Jan. 1, 2023 at 11:42 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WSAW) - With Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and Justin Jefferson across enemy lines, no shutdown of the Vikings offense would’ve been easy.

But for the Packers, it all started in the trenches.

“I thought we won the battle up front, which we knew was gonna be one of the keys to winning the game,” says Head Coach Matt Lafleur, on the team’s defensive line.

The spotlight was on the Packers secondary well before kickoff after Jaire Alexander called Justin Jefferson’s week one 184-yard performance a fluke. But after allowing just 15 yards to the All-Pro receiver this time around, Ja was a man of his word.

“I know Jaire chirped a little, but he backed it up,” says LaFleur.

“That’s just the confidence I have in myself and the people around me, so hey, it is what it is,” says Jaire Alexander, Cornerback.

But out of all the members of a Packers secondary filled with Pro-Bowlers, it was a man who got benched just weeks ago, that stole the show.

“Me and smash were kind of talking just about, man, and like can we get one of those interceptions that just kind of come to you?” says Darnell Savage, Safety. “We just stayed patient and we both got one today.”

“You gotta give Darnell a ton of credit, just cause some guys won’t respond that way,” says LaFleur. “He had the splash play, the pick-six, but it’s all the little things you see.”

To add to the praise, Aaron Rodgers even said this was the first time all season long that they’ve played complementary football in all three phases.