Justin Jefferson Absolutely Deserves Award Recognition

Justin Jefferson Absolutely Deserves Award Recognition
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Tom Pelissero from NFL.com surveyed “high-ranking executives from 26 NFL teams, including 15 general managers” this week. He tried to get votes for the major awards, including MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. In theory, Justin Jefferson is eligible for both honors.

The Vikings wideout received 0.5 votes for MVP, which rank him fifth behind Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow. Of course, the award is a quarterback trophy now. The last non-passer that won the honors was Adrian Peterson in 2012. Therefore, Jefferson will face a tough task. However, if he can break the single-season record of Randy Moss, he might have a chance.

Justin Jefferson absolutely
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

He’s currently 342 yards away, which equals an average of 114 yards in the final three games. His season average is 115.9, so there’s definitely a chance for the wideout. He could also become the first player in NFL history to record 2,000 receiving yards in a single season. That make would require roughly 126 yards per game. If Jefferson could pull off the surprise and win MVP, he would be the first wideout ever to win it.

Justin Jefferson Absolutely Deserves Award Recognition

Jefferson also received 13.5 votes for Offensive Player of the Year, a likelier thing to win for a wideout.

Pelissero wrote about the third-year receiver:

Jefferson (13.5 votes) leads the NFL in receptions (111) and receiving yards (1,623), putting him on pace to topple Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson’s decade-old record for single-season receiving yards (1,964). His nine 100-yard games also are an NFL-best on a Vikings team that increasingly revolves around getting him the football.

“The f—ing guy is good, man,” an AFC executive said. “He knows how to create separation. He catches everything. I don’t know why we’re surprised — he was just like that at LSU. They had (Ja’Marr) Chase too, but he was the clutch guy.”

As one NFC executive said: “What Derrick Henry is to Tennessee — and this isn’t a slight at the Vikings’ other players — if you remove [Jefferson], it would probably have as big an impact as anyone from an offense as a non-quarterback.”

Tom Pelissero, NFL.com, about Justin Jefferson

The best offensive skill position player typically wins the award. However, Mahomes also received six votes and ranked second. Tyreek Hill is probably Jefferson’s biggest foe, but Jefferson has recorded 94 more receiving yards.

The Vikings receiver will break Randy Moss’s single-season receiving yards on Saturday, barring unforeseen circumstances. He is currently nine yards short. Jefferson was just voted to his third career Pro Bowl.

Vikings Reinforcements on the Way
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Another Viking to receive votes in a category is head coach Kevin O’Connell for coach of the year. He received 3.5 votes, ranking him behind Eagles coach Nick Sirianni and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. The three are employed by the top three teams in the NFC.

O’Connell turned around an underachieving Vikings organization after missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons and won the first NFC North title since 2017. Both Jefferson and O’Connell have realistic chances of winning an award. The most likely is Jefferson to win the Offensive Player of the Year race.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt