There were plenty of people doubting the start of the Minnesota Vikings heading into their matchup with the Buffalo Bills in Week 10. They entered that game 7-1, with the only loss coming against the Philadelphia Eagles, who were undefeated heading into their Week 10 matchup against the Washington Commanders.
While the schedule wasn’t the most difficult, you still need to play and win the games. Minnesota was doing that and their come-from-behind victory over the Bills should quiet their doubters for now. Sitting at 8-1, tied for the best record in the NFL, they are in the driver’s seat for the NFC North and in the mix for the No. 1 overall seed.
A big reason for their success this season has been their passing game. Kirk Cousins is playing at a high level, which is made much easier when you have a player of Justin Jefferson’s caliber to target with passes.
Jefferson was selected by the Vikings in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft in a selection acquired from the Buffalo Bills in the Stefon Diggs blockbuster. This was a trade that both teams won, as both sides are thrilled with how the deal turned out.
Minnesota replaced one burgeoning superstar with another at the wide receiver position. Jefferson has quickly made his case as being the best pass catcher in the NFL, putting up monster seasons each year.
The 2022 season, however, is shaping up to be an especially memorable one for Jefferson. Through nine games, he has caught 69 passes for 1,060 yards and four touchdowns. If he can remain healthy, there is a chance that he will be re-writing the record books after the regular season.
A 2,000-yard receiving season has never been done in the NFL, but we could see that change. Jefferson is on pace for 2,003 yards this season in 17 games, which would break the current record held by Calvin Johnson. Johnson set the record in 2012 when he finished the season with 1,964 yards in 16 games.
The NFL’s extension of the regular season to 17 games will likely lead to plenty of records being broken by players that can stay healthy and will benefit from playing an extra game. Jefferson could be one of those players, as his pursuit of Johnson will go down to the wire.
Against the stout Bills defense, Jefferson caught 10 passes for a career-high 193 yards. In only his third season in the NFL with the Vikings, you can expect plenty of more dominant performances from the LSU product not only this season but for years to come as he isn’t even close to his prime yet.