Jefferson Eying First Place This Week
It was another week and another monster game for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Despite making what could be called the catch of the year in the NFL, he also nearly eclipsed the 200-yard mark and has positioned himself to take over the yardage lead among wide receivers this weekend.
Jefferson and the Minnesota Vikings had their bye already this season, but the Miami Dolphins get the benefit of a late bye, taking it in Week 11. Kevin O’Connell’s club will need to refocus following an emotional roller coaster of a victory against the Buffalo Bills, but a Dallas Cowboy team fresh off a loss against the Green Bay Packers is coming to town.
Only two wide receivers have surpassed the 1,000-yard mark through the first ten weeks of the season: Miami’s Tyreek Hill and Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson. Thus far, Hill has racked up gaudy games on the arms of Tua Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater, and Skylar Thompson. He’s had pressure taken off of him by another solid threat in Jaylen Waddle, and Hill’s tally to date sits at 1,148 yards.
For Jefferson, he entered the year as the favorite to generate the most amount of receiving yards. It was Cooper Kupp still expected to pace the league in receptions, but Jefferson is more of a dynamic package that can truly take the top off the defense. Following his near-200-yard explosion against the Buffalo Bills, Jefferson has 1,060 yards to his credit.
As the Dolphins rest and are out of action this week, Jefferson needs just 88 yards to take over the league lead. That is an amount he’s outgained in seven of nine contests this season, and it highlights just how exceptional he’s been.
Jefferson was limited to just 48 yards in a loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, and somehow, he was forgotten to the tune of only 14 yards against the Detroit Lions.
In nine games this season for Minnesota, Jefferson has eclipsed the century mark six different times. He fell short of a seventh by two yards in Week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Former Detroit Lions superstar Calvin Johnson owns the single-season NFL receiving yardage record with 1,964 yards. The Los Angeles Rams Kupp came close last year finishing with 1,947, and that was only the second time a player had surpassed 1,900 yards during a season.
Jefferson still has eight games to go, and more than a few poor secondaries in front of him. His pace puts him on track to rack up 2,002 yards when the dust settles. Overcoming the two clunkers would be quite the feat, and for a man who’s done nothing but dominate since entering the league, you can bet he’s licking his chops to be the first 2,000-yard man.
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.