Vikings Receivers Can Break 2 Records on Sunday

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Even without Kirk Cousins in the lineup, the passing game is heavily featured in Kevin O’Connell’s offense. Nick Mullens attempted 33 passes for 303 yards in his first start as a Minnesota Viking. The passer with gunslinger tendencies, perhaps he was taught that way of playing by his alma mater, Southern Miss, the same college Brett Favre attended, can ensure a continued pass-heavy offense.

Vikings Receivers Can Break 2 Records on Sunday

Vikings Receivers Can Break 2 Records on Sunday
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Backup quarterbacks rarely have the ability to put up big volume numbers, but O’Connell trusts his backup, and Mullens doesn’t hesitate to throw the ball up. Because of Mullens’ ability to generate that type of offense, the Vikings receivers can break some records on Sunday, although one of those records is easily achievable even with someone else under center.

Justin Jefferson, who entered the league in the first round of the 2020 draft, broke the rookie record for receiving yards, had the most yards by any player ever in the first two career seasons, and continued that trend in his third professional year. 2023, his fourth season in the NFL, was overshadowed by his hamstring injury that forced him to miss seven games, in addition to his brief absence in his comeback game in Week 14.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

The former national champion with LSU has already racked up 5,507 career receiving yards in 57 games, resulting in the highest per-game total in NFL history. He is currently trailing Saints receiver Michael Thomas for the most receiving yards in the first four seasons of any player ever, and all he needs to break it is to add six yards to his total.

Also in reach for a record is tight end T.J. Hockenson. The Pro Bowler has already set the single-season franchise record for receptions, and he needs 102 yards to tie Joe Senser’s franchise-best yardage number. Senser is still the only 1,000-yard tight end the Vikings have ever had, and he set the number in 1981.

Hockenson Has Proven
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

When the Vikings made the move and traded for the explosive tight end during the 2022 season, they wanted him to be a running mate for Jefferson, someone who could take advantage of the stringent coverage the star wideout was seeing. So far, it has worked, as Hockenson is one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL.

Then the Vikings went ahead and drafted Jordan Addison in the first round, another wonderful decision as he has already collected over 800 yards and nine touchdowns in his debut season. The trio is the heart and soul of the offense and might be the first Vikings trio to top 1,000 yards in the same season.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Detroit’s shaky pass defense will try to contain the dynamic passing attack led by Mullens and his receiving corps. We know two things: O’Connell won’t stop calling pass plays, and Mullens won’t hesitate to launch the ball.

The two division rivals meet on Sunday, and the Lions can clinch the division with a victory for the first time in roughly three decades. Minnesota can keep its hopes of defining the north alive with a win.

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