Purple Rumor Mill: Jefferson and 2K, Coach of the Year, Adam Thielen Status

Purple Rumor Mill: Jefferson and 2K, Coach of the Year, Adam Thielen Status
Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin JeffersonMandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Purple Rumor Mill

VikingsTerritory’s Purple Rumor Mill is a two-day chronicle each week. All the week’s rumors are lassoed and plopped in two spots — articles on Saturday and Sunday — for review. Today is the November 20th edition.

Remember — rumors are rumors. What you read on weekends in these pieces is what the world is talking about pertaining to the Vikings, not necessarily items that will come to fruition.

Rumor: Justin Jefferson is on pace and will hit 2,000+ receiving yards in 2022.

Checking In on Vikings Madden Ratings
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

This is true, but the margin for error is paper-thin.

Jefferson is slated for 2,002 receiving yards through nine games, meaning he must remain upright and healthy while continuing his barn-burning pace. It’s certainly possible — and is likely a true 50-50 toss-up for realization — but the man will have to be pretty flawless.

Thankfully, he’s getting the targets, so that won’t be a problem. He also has more receiving yards through nine games than any Vikings player in history.

Rumor: Kevin O’Connell could realistically win Coach of the Year, especially after the Eagles finally lost a game.

The Vikings Teensy Magic Number
Kevin O’Connell

O’Connell is a +350 bet to win the NFL’s Coach of the Year award, whereas Philadelphia’s Nick Sirianni is the frontrunner at +125.

This one will come down to who has a better regular season record. Because the Eagles lost to the Washington Commanders in Week 10, the Vikings can reasonably catch Philadelphia for the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

If that happens, O’Connell, not Siranni, will win Coach of the Year. Brian Daboll (NYG) or Mike McDaniel (MIA) will enter the chat if they both falter or collapse.

Rumor: Adam Thielen has lost a step and probably won’t regain peak form.

About the Forecasted Adam Thielen Decline 
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Thielen is still on pace to accrue 800+ receiving yards and a handful of touchdowns. But yes, this one is probably accurate.

The storied wideout is 32 years old, and this is the time when most veteran wide receivers begin to taper off unless they’re named Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, or Larry Fitzgerald. Those men played forever.

Enjoy it now, as we might be encountering the “end of Thielen” and not fully realize it.

TE T.J. Hockenson will continue to steal “Thielen’s targets.”


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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).