GREEN BAY – If the Packers' defensive film is guaranteed to show two things on a regular basis, it's defensive lineman Kenny Clark's no-quit second effort and cornerback Jaire Alexander's cat-quick reactions.
Despite neither player making a highlight-reel play or producing any stats that jumped off the page, those reliable traits were on display in Green Bay's victory over Chicago on Sunday night, and they're always fun to watch.
Here's a sampling of each player, first Clark, then Alexander.
Play No. 1: Second-and-1 from the Green Bay 33, second quarter, 2:27 left
Result: 2-yard run by RB David Montgomery
The Bears get the first down here, but it never gets old seeing Clark beat a double-team. On this one, C Sam Mustipher (67) and LG Cody Whitehair (65) are trying to take care of Clark, but the Packers' big guy sheds Whitehair in a heartbeat and then doesn't stay blocked by Mustipher, spinning off him to get in on the tackle. Several teammates do their jobs here as well, but no one else is dealing with a double-team like Clark, and his effort is commendable.
Play No. 2: Second-and-4 from the Chicago 44, third quarter, 13:46 left
Result: 4-yard sack by LB Kamal Martin
Here the double-team on Clark starts with Mustipher and RG Alex Bars (64), but Clark just doesn't quit. As Bars eventually shifts to help on LB Za'Darius Smith, Clark keeps charging forward to get himself free for a run at QB Mitch Trubisky. Clark can't quite get him, but he flushes Trubisky out and when the QB doesn't throw the ball away and gets forced out of bounds by Martin, it counts as the rookie's first NFL sack. Clark and Smith deserve plenty of credit, too.
Play No. 3: Second-and-10 from the Chicago 25, third quarter, 6:27 left
Result: Incomplete pass
Clark is single-blocked this time (hip-hip hooray), and his vision and relentlessness force a throwaway. Whitehair wins initially, but Clark can see Smith and LB Rashan Gary (52) collapsing the pocket around Trubisky. Clark smartly disengages with Whitehair and moves outside to pre-empt Trubisky's scramble attempt as he spins away from trouble, giving the QB no hope. The throwaway sets up third-and-10 and a three-and-out.
Play No. 4: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 38, second quarter, 12:31 left
Result: Interception by S Darnell Savage
Trubisky is going deep to WR Darnell Mooney (11) here no matter what, throwing the ball into double coverage. But it's worth pointing out how well Alexander reacts to the underneath in-breaking route by WR Allen Robinson (12). Even if Trubisky wants try the shorter throw, Alexander has taken it away.
Play No. 5: Second-and-goal from the Green Bay 3, second quarter, :29 left
Result: Incomplete pass
This is the type of cat-quick read and reaction that makes Alexander so much fun to watch on film. Trubisky is running a play-action bootleg, with Robinson coming from the opposite side of the formation, behind the offensive line, to slip out toward the pylon. But Alexander sees it coming all the way. Smith charges straight at Trubisky to hurry him into a bad throw (perhaps a throwaway), but even if the ball had been on target, this play had no chance.
Play No. 6: Third-and-7 from the Chicago 41, third quarter, 13:10 left
Result: 6-yard sack by LB Preston Smith
This is one snap after Martin's sack above (Play No. 2), and there's a lot going on here to help Preston Smith follow with his own sack. S Raven Greene (24) gets a good jam on TE Jimmy Graham (80) at the line of scrimmage, and on the other side of the field, CBs Chandon Sullivan (39) and Kevin King (20) handle the rub routes by Robinson and WR Anthony Miller (17) with ease. Trubisky's outlet on the play is the crossing Mooney, who undercuts Graham. But the reaction (and speed) of Alexander, in concert with S Adrian Amos (31), take Mooney away as well.