Jefferson, continuing his emergence as one of the league’s most dominant wide receivers, put forth a stellar performance, securing 10 receptions for 147 yards while also scoring a rushing touchdown in a 28-25 victory over the New Orleans Saints on October 1.
It was a performance that reasserted Jefferson’s stake atop the wide receiver ranks after a pair of quiet weeks.
Thielen wasn’t too shabby, either, tallying eight catches for 72 yards, but when asked about what he witnessed from Jefferson on Sunday, Thielen heaped effusive praise on the third-year star.
Adam Thielen Says He ‘Strongly’ Believes Justin Jefferson is the NFL’s Best WR
In an October 1 postgame press conference, Thielen was asked how much of a treat it is to watch Jefferson on gameday.
Thielen not only stated his “strong” belief Jefferson is the league’s best wide receiver but also added that Jefferson makes it easy to root for him.
“Yeah, I mean, I strongly believe he’s the best receiver in this league. You just have an extra motivation to cheer for a guy that is not only a great football player, what he does on the football field is amazing, but he’s an even better person. I’m not just saying that because he’s my teammate. I love going to work with him every day. I get to spend a lot of time with him in the receiver room,” Thielen said. “Those are the guys you cheer for a little bit more. You hope they have success because they deserve it because of how hard they work and the type of man he is.”
Justin Jefferson Wins Matchup With Saints CB Marshawn Lattimore
The two starts dueled one-on-one the majority of the game, and while Lattimore kept Jefferson relatively quiet in the first half, allowing five receptions for 42 yards, Jefferson broke free when it mattered.
Jefferson tallied five more catches for 105 yards in the final half, including the Vikings’ two biggest gains of the game on receptions of 41 and 39 yards. The 39-yard connection with Kirk Cousins came with 1 minute, 38 seconds left in regulation that put Minnesota in position to kick the game-winning field goal.
“Seeing that one-on-one matchup, we’ve been saying it all week, if we get it, we’re going to throw it deep. It was a great play, great call, great throw by Kirk,” Jefferson said in a postgame press conference.
“It feels great, especially against this type of defender. He’s definitely known around the whole league to be a great corner,” Jefferson added. “I got the upper hand on this matchup, especially [after] seeing him when I was a rookie.”
Jefferson’s stat line from his rookie year matchup with Lattimore? Six receptions for 85 yards.
He’s had Lattimore’s number since his rookie year in what’s likely to be a budding rivalry for years to come in the NFC, especially after Lattimore mocked Jefferson his rookie year.