Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson could be the most dominant player in any position on Sunday, burning the Packers for 184 yards and two touchdowns from nine catches.
Jefferson scored 158 yards in the first half, and his number could have gone even higher had it not been for the Vikings’ switch to a more run-based approach in the second half to preserve the lead.
The third-year recipient enters the season as one of the favorites for Attacker of the Year, an award that has been received by multiple recipients in two of the past three seasons. Michael Thomas set a record with 149 receptions when he won the award in 2019, and Cooper Kupp came within 17 meters of Calvin Johnson’s season record when he won in 2021.
If he continues at this pace, Jefferson could compete for both records this season. After Sunday’s opening game, Jefferson had to average 113.5 yards per game for the rest of his run to reach the 2,000-yard mark.
It’s challenging, but it’s not out of the question. Jefferson has two games left against the Lions, the team he burned in the 306 yards received last season. Minnesota also faced teams that allowed the receivers to perform big in Week 1, including the Patriots, Bills, Commanders and Cardinals.
Week 1, head coach Kevin O’Connell has been shown to run his offensive behavior through the Cousins link with Jefferson – at least until Minnesota gets a goal lead. No one else of the Vikings had more than three receptions in the win, and no one toyed with the Packers’ tough defense like Jefferson did.
If O’Connell and Cousins continue to give him the ball, this season could end with Jefferson reaching heights no other receiver has reached.