Minnesota Madness: The Vikings’ Top Play of the 2023 Season

justin jefferson
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

In a result that will surprise essentially no one, Justin Jefferson has emerged victorious in Minnesota Madness.

Over these past several weeks, PurplePTSD and Vikings Territory have been running a best-play bracket across the sites. The opening sixteen games of the year offered up a single play to get tossed into the tournament. The year offered some tremendous moments, but the final pairing of plays led to a showdown between Josh Metellus and Justin Jefferson. The team’s cornerstone player came out on top.

Minnesota Madness
Justin Jefferson Marches to the Top of the Mountain

Our websites have made a donation in the amount of $1,600 to The Vikings Foundation. We did so in honor of Jefferson, the proud owner of the season’s top play.

Go ahead and relive the play that inspired the pay:

Obviously, Nick Mullens deserves a ton of credit for giving his receiver a shot. Jefferson was nowhere close to open and yet the QB understood what the moment demanded. Give the WR1 a shot and be rewarded for doing so. Admittedly, Mullens now appears like an odd fit on Minnesota’s roster, but we shouldn’t be surprised if he snags starts in 2024.

Longshot to Start
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

After making the catch, Jefferson shows why he’s a special player. He doesn’t gloat or hit the griddy. He immediately jumps up so he can take the ball back to the official. Plus, he had just hustled back to recover the Mullens fumble from the play beforehand:

So what we have, then, is the league’s best receiver demonstrating enough hustle and compete to sprint back to recover the fumble following a sack. Doing so kept the game alive (the team eventually lost) and, in turn, the season as a whole. After all, the Vikings were 7-7 at the time, so there was still a chance to get into the postseason.

On the very next play, Jefferson extended his arms to pluck the pass out of the sky. He did so with a pair of Lions defenders draped all over him. Sensational.

Have Pretty Simple
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Add it all together and Jefferson is a worthy champion for Minnesota Madness. His play was exemplary in its athleticism, competitiveness, and hustle.

As mentioned up top, PurplePTSD and Vikings Territory have combined to make a $1,600 donation in honor of Mr. Jefferson. Our basic idea is to send along some money to a charity that reinvests in the game of football, the sport we write about on a daily basis.

Readers interested in contributing can do so by finding The Vikings Foundation on the Vikings’ team website.

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K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.