Justin Jefferson Lays Out 2022 Endgame
If you believed after the Minnesota Vikings Week 10 triumph in Buffalo that the team was capable of winning a championship, you’re not alone.
After the win over the Bills, wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who singlehandedly saved the game with a miraculous and apocryphal 4th and 18 reception, explained the team’s ceiling, complete with Super Bowl aspirations.
No longer are the Vikings mired with 7-9 or 8-9 mediocrity. Instead, Jefferson’s thinking bigger — like February bigger.
The 23-year-old told reporters about his thoughts during the fallout of the Week 10 win, “I told everybody, This means this is our season.“
The Vikings are 8-1 through 10 weeks, their best start to a season since 2009, when the team raced to the NFC title game before encountering a regrettable late-game meltdown. Minnesota has experienced several almost-storybook seasons in its 62-year history, but the current edition is unique.
Why? Well, seven of the Vikings eight wins have finished with a one-score margin. When Minnesota was cruising in 1998 or relying on Favre to “do the thing” 13 years ago, the franchise would blow the doors off at least some opponents. But not these Vikings. Every game is a hodgepodge of early-game prosperity — generally a touchdown on the first offensive possession — a total nap sometime in the 2nd or 3rd Quarter, and then a mind-boggling finish in the 4th Quarter, complete with heroic drippings.
In fact, Jefferson also said about the Bills win, “It felt like a movie.”
Indeed, it did — and Jefferson was Best Actor with a side dish of Best Cinematography. Because the club dug a 27-10 hole late in the 3rd Quarter, it had the proverbial “no business winning that game” but found curious and intoxicating ways to claw back into the matchup.
Jefferson notched 10 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown. And that statline doesn’t even do the performance justice, as the LSU alumnus repeatedly seized contested catch after contested catch out of the heavens, leaving the memory of Stefon Diggs, who was on the side of the field, as distant as Nepal.
The Vikings are currently considered the fifth-likeliest team to hoist the Lombardi trophy after Super Bowl LVII per sportsbooks (+1100). Only the aforementioned Bills, Kansas Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Francisco 49ers have better odds as of November 15th.
But don’t tell that to Jefferson, who’s deemed 2022 Minnesota’s season.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).