Justin Jefferson Has a Shiny New Goal

Writer Claims Justin
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For the first time since October 8th, Justin Jefferson will play in a Minnesota Vikings game this Sunday. His Vikings take on the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium and are favored by three points to win.

Justin Jefferson Has a Shiny New Goal

Jefferson missed seven games with a hamstring injury, as Minnesota produced a 5-2 record without him, an impressive mark because the club was 1-4 until his departure.

Now, with Jefferson fully recovered and raring to contribute, the league’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year has one individual goal, in addition to the team goal of reaching the postseason and winning the Super Bowl — posting 1,000 receiving yards.

a shiny new
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The 24-year-old told reporters on Thursday, “Since I got hurt, the new goal is 1,000 yards. I want to end every single year over 1,000 yards.”

Jefferson will receive passes for the first time from Joshua Dobbs, who quarterbacked the Arizona Cardinals the last time Jefferson set foot on a gameday football field. Dobbs said about his budding relationship with Jefferson, “I’ve been texting him ideas. Because I want to play the best football I can because I know all the guys in here have worked so hard to get to this moment where we hold our own destiny. The communication has been both ways, which has been good because that’s communication you have to have in order to be successful on Sundays.”

Is Justin Jefferson the NFL's Best WR? Or More than That?
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To hit the 1,000-yard mark — Jefferson tabulated 571 before the injury — he’ll need 85.8 per game. Jefferson has averaged 98.1 yards per game throughout his four-year career, so 85.8 is assuredly achievable. It’s just that he banked that incredible stat with Kirk Cousins — close to 100% of the time.

Without Jefferson in the lineup, tight end T.J. Hockenson stepped up tremendously, and before Cousins was lost for the season — yes, he was injured, too — rookie Jordan Addison was the default WR1. But with Dobbs at quarterback, Addison has not found the endzone.

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The working theory suggests Jefferson should be able to do his damage on the field while opening up the passing game for Hockenson and Addison, so long as Dobbs is up for the task. We shall see.

Jefferson was eligible to exit IR against the New Orleans Saints in early November, but Minnesota slow-rolled his recovery, insisting it wanted to “ramp him up” before greenlighting a comeback.

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Now, with a playoff berth in the balance, Jefferson is cleared for full participation and might have to put the club on his back in the next five games. Hitting 1,000 receiving yards, per his goal, will help.

Minnesota must win to keep pace in the NFC’s evolving playoff picture at Las Vegas. The New York Times’ playoff simulator plops the Vikings’ postseason probability at 44% before the Raiders matchup. If Minnesota wins, the math climbs to 56%. A loss would sink the odds to 29%.

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 Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.