Justin Jefferson Doesn’t Like Number 8? Screw That.

Why Has the Vikings Pass Defense Faltered Lately?
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The Minnesota Vikings dropped another game. With four losses in the last five contests, they are in jeopardy of reaching the playoffs for the first time since the new regime arrived in 2022. Since quarterback Kirk Cousins got hurt, the offense has been a disaster with a carousel of backups under center, and the defense has been up and down.

Justin Jefferson Doesn’t Like Number 8? Screw That.

Sometimes, we have to lose something before we recognize its value and appreciate it. Well, that has been the mantra of the 2023 group. The fanbase has been torn about veteran passer Cousins for years, but they slowly realize how valuable he was to the team.

Like Number 8? Screw That.
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And his favorite target is also missing him on the field. Star wideout Justin Jefferson last played with Cousins in Week 5 when he got hurt against the Kansas City Chiefs. Since his return a few weeks back, he had roughly a quarter with Joshua Dobbs and two games with Nick Mullens. JJ talked about his QB1 after the recent defeat against the Lions.

I really think it goes to show the rest of the world the type of player Kirk is. At the end of the day, this is a tough league. … It’s tough not having 8 out there, the captain that he is, the leader that he is. He’s a great player.

Nick is an outstanding player as well. We just need to build on that confidence we have. We just need to go on that practice field and make sure we’re getting all the timing right, making sure the ball is where it needs to be.

Justin Jefferson
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Cousins has been one of the most controversial players in the NFL for years. His rankings vary from just an average guy to a Pro Bowl tier-2 QB. His annual numbers of over 4,000 yards and roughly 30 touchdowns are as consistent as they come, and he is not the only player putting up numbers on the field, as he always has a nose for making his weapons feast.

Jefferson was the most productive wideout ever in his first season, first two seasons, and first three seasons. He continued that trend in his fourth year with his first catch in the Week 16 contest versus Detroit.

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While he is undoubtedly a wonderful talent, his highlight plays make jaws drop on a weekly basis, and he can put up big numbers with other signal-callers, as he has proven with Mullens, a part of his record-breaking pace can still be attributed to his connection with the veteran passer.

An overblown talker on social media has been that Jefferson is not a big fan of his quarterback, perhaps because he was caught on hot mic voicing his frustration in the heat of the moment when Cousins couldn’t find him in the endzone, but that was years ago. The myth stayed.

Do after Losing
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However, Jefferson has been in support of Cousins countless times. It isn’t easy to form trust comparable to those two, and Jefferson knows it. Unfortunately, there is a chance that they may never again share a locker room with Cousins’ contract expiring in March.

It remains to be seen if the Vikes bring their veteran back and continue to pay an aging player coming off a torn Achilles, although it has become obvious how much he means to the organization.

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