Aaron Rodgers Makes Strong Confession on Vikings Star Justin Jefferson

Rodgers on Watson

Getty Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field on November 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Aaron Rodgers hasn’t shied away from expressing his admiration for Justin Jefferson despite the two NFL stars being on rival teams.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback was humbled on September 11 after the Minnesota Vikings held him without a passing touchdown when playing a full game for just the second time in his career.

The two-time reigning NFL MVP offered some serious praise to Jefferson who was tantamount to the VIkings’ 23-7 victory over the Packers.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Tells Vikings WR Justin Jefferson is the Best Player in the Game

Meeting at midfield after Sunday’s season opener, Rodgers told Jefferson he’s the “best player in the game today,” according to ESPN.

Jefferson caught nine of 11 targets for a career-high 184 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a leaping catch in the end zone that would have been a third receiving touchdown of the day had he got his second foot down.

Meanwhile, Rodgers struggled, completing 22 of 34 passes for 195 yards, no touchdowns, an interception and a 67.7 passer rating.

Aaron Rodgers Hoped Packers Would Pick Justin Jefferson in 2020 NFL Draft

The Packers made a move in the first round of the 2020 draft, trading up to the X spot. Rodgers admitted he “perked up” when he saw Green Bay make the move with the possibility of picking a receiver — and Jefferson was atop Rodgers’ list of prospects he would have liked to see selected.

“When they [traded] up, I was watching the draft and thinking about which receiver might be there at that time,” Rodgers told Kyle Brandt of TheRinger.com. “There was a run on them there in the early 20s, the kid from LSU [Justin Jefferson] who I loved watching went to Minnesota in the early 20s, I knew the kid from Clemson [Tee Higgins] was still there, I enjoyed watching him but didn’t know as much about him, and the kid from Arizona State [Brandon Aiyuk] as well… So when they traded up I perked up a little bit.”

The Packers ultimately used the pick to select Jordan Love, a move that offers Rodgers no benefit on the playing field.

Justin Jefferson Surfaces as a Superstar in Kevin O’Connell’s Debut

If there was any debate of Justin Jefferson’s status in the league, the third-year receiver claimed his stake among the NFL’s best wide receivers.

With an offensive-minded coach in Kevin O’Connell, Jefferson was put into motion, lining up all over the backfield to take advantage of mismatches across the Green Bay defense. He averaged 4.0 yards of separation on his 11 targets, according to ESPN, and gained 138 of his receiving yards on plays when he had at least 3.0 yards of separation

“It seemed like he was in motion quite a bit, just moving him all over the place. You’ve got to give them credit. They put him in premier spots and attacked our coverage well, and certainly we had a couple blown coverages, as well, where we’re cutting him loose, and if there’s anybody you don’t want to cut loose, it’s No. 18,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said in a postgame press conference.

In just the first go-around with O’Connell calling plays, Jefferson had the best game of his career to date.

And while he’s bound to break his season-opening mark the more comfortable the offense becomes in Year 1, Jefferson gave all the credit to the defense in Sunday’s win.

I’m excited for this whole team honestly. Our defense stepped it up tremendously,” Jefferson said in a postgame press conference. “They did a phenomenal job. I saw all of the sacks and the different plays they were making out there. Definitely got our juices flowing on offense. Even when we give the ball back to their offense, our defense is going to come up and be clutch. It’s good to have a type of defense like that.”

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