Justin Jefferson Adds Another Award to His Trophy Cabinet

Justin Jefferson insulted
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Just three years into his career, Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson became the face of the franchise and one of the most popular players in the league. Kids copy his touchdown dances and try to run routes like JJ. To be this popular, he has to be good, and the LSU alumnus has been remarkable ever since stepping foot on the NFL field in September 2020.

Justin Jefferson Adds Another Award to His Trophy Cabinet

Justin Jefferson Adds Another Award to His Trophy Cabinet
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

His latest addition to his trophy cabinet is an ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) for the year’s best play. In case you have been living under a rock and don’t know which play was awarded, here it is again:

Jefferson pulled off one of the most impressive catches in NFL history; it may very well have been the best. He was totally covered, the pass was overthrown and the defender was in the perfect position to make the play and catch the football. It looked like an interception but Jefferson got back up, the players and coaches on the sideline went crazy, and everyone started to realize that the receiver actually caught the ball.

Kirk Cousins Is a Hall
Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson makes a one-handed catch against Bills Cam Lewis to keep a late drive alive. © JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Oh, and he did it on a fourth down with 18 yards to go on a must-have play to complete the comeback win on the road against the Super Bowl favorites. Everything about the sequence was special – the game situation (time, down, and distance), the opponent, and the aesthetics.

A funny part of it is that Jefferson drew some criticism for his inability to come down with contested catches earlier in that season and then proceeded to end that once and for all with that grab. Jefferson got emotional during his speech:

Always dreamt for this moment, making these memorable plays. Always gotta thank the man upstairs for allowing me to pursue my dreams. Also I gotta thank my family for supporting me throughout the whole way. All of the doubts that I’ve been receiving my whole career, all of the people that said that I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t do it, and they were the main ones that stood behind me the whole way, so I definitely gotta thank them as well.


There’s so many things that I wanna accomplish and things that I want to prove to myself. So this is a start of it but there’s more to come, for sure.

Justin Jefferson

The superstar just turned 24, so he has a lot of time to accomplish more in his already outstanding career. No player in NFL history managed to put up more receiving yards throughout the first three seasons of their careers, and nobody had more yards before turning 24. He also led the league in both yards and catches as the youngest player ever and is widely considered the league’s top wideout. His phenomenal 2022 season earned him the Offensive Player of the Year Award and some MVP votes. He was an MVP finalist as the only non-quarterback.

Would the Vikings without
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson formed a special connection with quarterback Kirk Cousins. There’s a decent chance that he will have to form a new bond with a different passer in the 2024 campaign if the Vikings move on from Cousins. 2023 will be his first season without Adam Thielen but the organization added Jordan Addison in the first round of the draft and he is supposed to be his new running mate.

Jefferson’s star is still rising and the fact that he has gotten better in each of his first three seasons is scary.

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