4 Weeks of Wonder for Justin Jefferson

4 Weeks of Wonder for Justin Jefferson
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

4 Weeks of Wonder for Justin Jefferson

Coming off a career-high 223 yards receiving against the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings superstar wide receiver has exactly four games left to vault himself into history. Trying to keep Miami Dolphins wideout Tyreek Hill at bay, Jefferson will need to continue his blistering pace if he wants the top spot on the podium.

Through 13 games, Justin Jefferson has tallied 1,500 receiving yards for the Vikings. He is just 116 yards away from his 2021 career best and sits 40 yards ahead of the second-place Tyreek Hill. The Vikings have consistently made Jefferson a focal part of their gameplan, and records or achievements notwithstanding, that’s their best bet to a victory on any given weekend.

Four Weeks of Wonder for Justin Jefferson
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

4 Weeks of Wonder for Justin Jefferson

Last season Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp led the NFL in receiving yards by racking up more than 1,900. It’s likely that number will be surpassed this season by whoever is left standing at the top, and Minnesota is well-positioned to allow Jefferson the opportunity.

Although the Colts have given up the third-fewest passing yards on the season, and the Packers round out the top five, both the Giants and Bears are far more beatable. On top of that, each of those games should be a situation where Minnesota is favored, and developing an early lead could allow the offense to sit back and work.

If he’s looking for an even loftier goal than just holding off Hill, Jefferson is within 500 yards of becoming the NFL’s first 2,000-yard wide receiver. He would need to average 125 yards per game the rest of the way, and that’s a mark he’s already surpassed six times this season. Jefferson’s prospects of reaching the highest heights will come down to avoiding a stinker.

Four times this season, opposing defenses have held Jefferson below 50 yards in a game. The Detroit Lions kept him to just 14 yards in their early-season matchup, and Dallas limited him to only 33 yards when they routed Minnesota. Knowing that Jefferson will likely surpass the 125-yard mark at least once, he’ll need to focus on making every game a strong effort.

PurplePTSD: Jefferson & History Books, Outlasting New England, Debates
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There’s no denying that Hill will push Jefferson for the NFL lead. He currently has 100 receptions on the season, most in the NFL. After securing 111 catches and suggesting he left Kansas City due to a lack of targets, it’s been apparent that Tua Tagovailoa is going to force-feed his new weapon as much as he can handle.

Although Hill hasn’t had quite as much gaudy production as Jefferson has, he has done well to limit complete duds. The Miami wideout has been held under 50 yards just three times this season, and only one of those instances was less than 40 yards. A burner and consistent threat to break one loose, Hill’s ability to rack up bunches of yards in a single play cannot be overstated.

Justin Jefferson Has Made His Case. For Now.
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The hope would be that as Minnesota gets the offensive line healthy, Dalvin Cook will be more able to find open running lanes, forcing the defense to respect Kirk Cousins. Jefferson will continue to have his opportunities, and there’s no doubt he’ll capitalize on them. The only question remains to what extent because what he is looking to do truly has never been done before.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.