Justin Jefferson got off to the hottest of hot starts in the 2022 season, posting 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns on nine catches. Needless to say, the performance didn't sit well with Packers star cornerback Jaire Alexander.
That's right. Alexander calls Jefferson's Week 1 performance a "fluke" — A FLUKE! Talk about disrespect! Now, I love a good WR-CB rivalry more than anyone. Really, I do — but can we please, for the love of the Lombardi, at least ensure the trash talk makes sense?
Alexander is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Entering Week 17, Alexander is allowing the fifth-lowest NFL passer rating in coverage (65.2) and is tied for the seventh-most interceptions among DBs with at least 500 snaps in coverage this year. He is PFF's 14th most highly graded defender. Conversely, he is my lowest-graded trash talker for spouting nonsense about the league's best wide receiver.
In all fairness, I do want to shout out that exactly zero of Jefferson's yards in Week 1 actually came against Alexander in coverage. In fact, Jefferson didn't see a single target in the 11 snaps Alexander spent covering him. But regardless of who Jefferson's yards came against, he still produced. And it's not a fluke, silly Jaire! We have lots of stats to back that up.
Jefferson broke, and now holds, the record for most receiving yards ever in their first three seasons.
He's notched 4,772 receiving yards in 48 career starts for an average of 99.4 receiving yards per game. That leads all wide receivers since the 1970 merger.
Those 4,772 receiving yards are good enough to lead the NFL since 2020... by a 500-yard margin. Davante Adams, former Packer turned Raider, ranks second in the league with 4,217.
Jefferson has had 100 or more receiving yards in 24 of his 48 career games... literally half. HOW?
To summarize, Justin Jefferson doing Justin Jefferson things is not a fluke. Regardless, we hope to see this WR-CB rivalry develop into something truly special in the years to come, however. After all, we do get to witness this NFC North rivalry twice per season!
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