One Popular Vikings Hope Should Be Adjusted

justin jefferson
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Annually, Minnesota Vikings fans daydream about Justin Jefferson’s statistical heights, as the phenom playmaker usually nibbles at NFL records.

One Popular Vikings Hope Should Be Adjusted

As of late, a popular theory suggests Jefferson could eventually break the single-season receiving yards mark and/or top 2,000 yards in a season. While it’s fine and dandy to expect lofty production from Jefferson, the 2024 campaign is not the year to envision a career year.

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Why? Well, Minnesota has quarterback instability for the first time since 2017. Nobody knows if Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy will be any good. With Kirk Cousins — who usually checked in around the NFL’s 12th- or 13th-best passer — at least the output was predictable. Now, however, it’s a great unknown, and Jefferson shouldn’t be forecasted for 2,000 yards or anything of the sort in 2024.

This week, banged the drum on potential candidates to shatter the single-season record, and after Tyreek Hill and Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jefferson’s name entered the chat. “The league’s highest-paid pass catcher should compete for the NFL’s receiving record as the top option in Kevin O’Connell’s offense. The ultra-creative play designer utilizes various formations, pre-snap shifts and motions to loosen the coverage around Jefferson,” Bucky Brooks wrote.

Justin Jefferson Trade
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The aforementioned Cousins now plays for the Falcons, and together with Jefferson, the two thrived. Jefferson will now hope that Darnold or McCarthy have the special sauce.

Brooks added, “As Jordan Addison continues to evolve into an elite WR2, with T.J. Hockenson flourishing as a blue-chip playmaker (when healthy), the Vikings should be able to force the ball to Jefferson to allow him to cook defensive backs on the perimeter. Given his receiving title (2022) and stature as the NFL’s WR1, Jefferson’s production could match his compensation with a sensational campaign in 2024.”

Endorses the Unthinkable
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Forecasting Jefferson for record-breaking seasons is probably best reserved for 2025 or 2026, when the masses determine if McCarthy is the real deal. If he takes off like a Joe Burrow or Josh Allen, for example, the sky is the limit. Additionally, there’s always a chance that Darnold conducts a career about-face — many have compared him to 2023 Baker Mayfield — but that’s the sunshine-and-rainbows prediction for the journeyman.

Jefferson certainly won’t struggle with Darnold or McCarthy. He proved in 2023 that he could make do with Nick Mullens flinging the rock. Yet, Cousins’s consistency was the kicker for Jefferson to smash so many through-first-four-years records.

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And now Cousins is gone. Per breaking records, it’s wait-and-see for Jefferson with his new quarterback(s).

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).

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