Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson scorched the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, generating nine catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the 23-7 season-opening trouncing.
Green Bay Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander doesn't believe Jefferson will repeat those theatrics in the Week 17 rematch 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 Thursday, 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."
Alexander added Jefferson is among his top three WRs in the NFL, noting former Packer Davante Adams is No. 1.
Jefferson leads the NFL with 123 catches for 1,756 yards. He's on pace for 1,990 yards, which would break Calvin Johnson's single-season NFL record of 1,964 in 2012. He needs to average 104.5 yards in the last two weeks to break the record; Jefferson is averaging 117.1 YPG through 15 games.
In Week 1, Jefferson ate up the Packers' coverages, often finding himself stunningly wide open. After the September loss, Alexander lamented he wished he'd had more man-to-man opportunities against Jefferson. The Vikings receiver noted Thursday he was "surprised" by how open he was in Week 1.
"As you can see on some of the plays, I was acting like somebody was going to be there and nobody was there. So I'm definitely expecting them to play a little differently," Jefferson said. "I definitely remember Jaire saying he was wishing he could play me man-to-man more and be on me more. So I'm pretty sure they're going to have a different plan than what they had the first game of the season."
Alexander was in primary coverage on Jefferson in 12 snaps in Week 1. The wideout earned zero targets on those plays, per Next Gen Stats. Alexander and Jefferson have faced off three times. In those games, the CB has lined up across from the WR on 23 of 70 routes (32.9 percent), seeing just three targets and netting one catch for 12 yards, per NGS.
With their playoff hopes on the line, it'd make sense for the Packers to deploy Alexander more on Jefferson on Sunday, but head coach Matt LaFleur noted that Green Bay wouldn't completely change its defense to combat one player.
"Well, [Jefferson] is going to get his touches," LaFleur said. "As a matter of fact, it's funny you ask that because I was looking at his game-by-game production, and they do a great job of moving him around. That's why it presents some challenges. Unless you just want to go lock him and play man, which opens a new can of worms every snap, it's hard to just account for where's going to be. I think you've got to do a great job of giving him different looks, but you always got to be mindful of where he's at on the field."
The Packers can't be less mindful of where Jefferson is at than they were in Week 1.