The W Report: Defense Dominates Vikings

The “W” Report: Packers Defense Dominates Vikings

  • Dalvin Cook
  • Defense
  • Greenbay Packers
  • Jaire Alexander
  • Kirk Cousins
  • mike pettine
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • NFL
By Nathaniel Scott September 18, 2020 0 Comment
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Jaire Alexander was money in key moments for the Green Bay Packers. Leading to the question, is the D Train really headed for the top?

Who (stood out): Corner back Jaire “Ja Money” Alexander

The Packers defense dominated through three quarters, lead mostly by Jaire Alexander. Consider by most to already be a top corner in the league; Jaire spoke this off-season about coach Jerry Gray’s influence on his development, coming into year three. On Sunday, we were given a glimpse into what that could look like this season. Alexander recorded a sack, safety, and an interception. Kirk Cousins only completed 57% of passes in his direction. He did give up a touchdown late to Adam Thielen, but otherwise had a very solid day in coverage. His 71.0 over all grade was good for 3rd best on the team, according to profootballfocus.com

What (happened in a nutshell): Defense lets off the gas after being up big early!

The defense allowed Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook to start out hot. Giving up runs of 20, 8, 5, and 8 yards on the Viking’s opening drive of the first quarter. Tack on another 15 penalty yards, and a 25 yard pass to Theilen; Green Bay allowed Minnesota to drive 60 yard in four minutes. The end result, Cook rushing for a one yard touchdown to take the lead. However, after Minnesota’s first scripted drive, Mike Pettine’s crew got things turned around. Allowing the Vikings to only score three points for the entire second and third quarters.

It wasn’t until the 14:00 minute mark of the fourth quarter that Minnesota would find the end zone again. Fortunately for the Packers, they already had a pretty comfortable 29-10 lead, and their offense wouldn’t let up. Unfortunately, the Green Bay defense seemed to let their foot off Minnesota’s throat, giving chunk plays, in soft coverage, designed to eliminate exactly that! It’s tough to say if this was simply a result of them getting lax with such a big lead, and packing it in early, (no pun intended), or if the Vikings actually found something late that they were exploiting. Either way, its not the mark of a championship defense. If the Packers want to be real contenders in the NFC this season, they need to find a way to put the nail in the coffin and close out games with focus.

When (was the turning point): Jaire shoots, giving Packers’ a shot of momentum

The Packers were trailing the Vikings 7-3 going into the second quarter. Minnesota came to the line on  2nd & 7 from their four yard line, after forcing a turn over on downs. The Vikings were looking to march down the field 96 yards to extend the lead. However, that’s when Jaire Alexander decided to enter the chat.  “Because of the motion by Thielen…I anticipated run, I shot my shot, I slide in the DM’s basically!” Thankfully for Green Bay Jaire’s gamble paid off big. He sacked Cousins in the end zone for a safety, putting two points on the board, and giving the Packers a much needed spark. Eight plays later they would kick a field goal to take the lead, and never look back on route to a blow out victory!

Where (defense looked good and/or bad): They Dominated early, but got sloppy late

To put it bluntly, Green Bay let their foot of the gas defensively. After they dominated Minnesota in the beginning of they started to allow lot of big plays late. Maybe it had something to do with Pro Bowler Kenny Clark exiting the game with an injury. Maybe it was just them getting to comfortable with a big lead. Either way, its not the mark of a championship defense to allow 24 points in the fourth quarter. They created a turn over, leading to a score just before the half, and both ZaDarius Smith and Rashan Gary would record sacks on the day.

However, the lack of focus down the stretch provided a bit of a bitter after taste, after they dominated early, in an otherwise sweet, road, divisional, victory! They pretty much held Cook in check who only had 50 yards rushing but scored twice. While All- Pro Adam Thielen had two end zone snags, in the proverbial “garbage time“ making things look a lot closer than they actually were.

Why (the ultimately won): Jaire swung momentum, allowing Rodgers to go to work!

As we mentioned earlier Jiare had the sack on Cousins, resulting in a safety, that lead to the Packer’s taking the lead. However, that wasn’t a designed blitz. Rather, it was Alexander coming into his own, trusting his instincts, and making a huge play when his team needed it. Later in the game, he wrestled the ball away from Thielen mid-air to create the lone turnover of the game! On Sunday, Jaire showed he can be the playmaking, field tilter, the Packers secondary have desperately been missing since Charles Woodson left, and Nick Collins retired. He dominated the game, and his play correlated to 12 points off turnovers and pressures. That’s the kind of a difference maker this team is going to need him to be all year if they expect to make another run at Lombardi’s Trophy in 2020!

Be sure to tune in every Wednesday tothe Title Town Brawl Podcast with host Brandon Jackson Super Bowl XLV Champion and J Andrews only on the Brawl Network. Follow us on Twitter for news and the latest about your favorite team.

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