Motivation. It’s an unseen variable that powers athletes. Whether it’s to prove themselves, they can do it to others or guaranteeing a long-term deal, it serves many purposes. The Detroit Lions receiving core has to deal with one of the most motivated and self-assured athletes in cornerback Jaire Alexander. While Alexander talks trash, he can back it up. He has the skill to be the highest paid cornerback in the NFL and is heading to the Pro Bowl.
After getting torched by Justin Jefferson in Week 1 against the Vikings, Alexander held Jefferson to just one catch in the Packers 41-17 win. There’s one play that stood out about backing up his talk. After breaking up a pass intended for Jefferson, Alexander did the “Griddy”, which is Jefferson’s signature touchdown dance.
He has enough confidence to fill a hat. Literally.
It was in Week 9 in Detroit that Alexander and the pass defense that kept the Packers close. Jared Goff was just 3-for-8 with an interception while under pressure. That interception was courtesy of Alexander, that help set up a Green Bay score. Despite Green Bay not recording a sack, they pressured Goff. He finished with his lowest passing total of the season with 137 yards. Amon-Ra St. Brown was targeted nine times, but they held him to just four catches for 58 yards.
The Lions have their health at receiver
Since the Packers fell to 4-8, Alexander has stepped up his game. During the Packers four-game winning streak, Alexander has had interceptions against the Bears and Dolphins. Even with the loss of DL Rashan Gary, the Packers rush defense has been playing better as of late. Detroit has their receiving core at full strength. D.J. Chark, Jameson Williams, Shane Zylstra, Josh Reynolds and Brock Wright will be at Goff’s disposal on Sunday. All were not available in Week 9. Goff will certainly need them all as Detroit will attempt to sweep the Packers for the just second time since 1991.
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(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)