While the Vikings’ playoff aspirations were dashed last week with a loss to the Green Bay Packers, Jefferson called out the Chicago Bears ahead their Week 18 season finale for trashing talking and a late hit.
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‘We Feel Like We Owe Them a Butt-Whooping’
In a segment of The Audible, a weekly exclusive interview by Vikings.com, co-host Gabe Henderson asked Jefferson what the team is playing for beyond just a win.
“We feel like we owe them one just from them talking so much trash last time and doing the little late-hitting. We feel like we owe them a butt-whooping,” Jefferson said, referring to Minnesota’s 17-9 win over the Bears in Week 15. “We told them we were going to see them again. It ain’t going to be cold. We ain’t going to be outside. We’re going to be indoors and y’all are going to be at our stadium. So it’s definitely up, and we’re definitely going to go ham for the last game.”
Co-host Ron Johnson referred to a play where Jefferson was hit late by a Bears defensive back Teez Tabor the last time the two teams met. Jefferson was fired up and was held by back wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell, who also managed to signal the personnel group for the next play.
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Tabor has only played in six games this season as Chicago was shorthanded last meeting due to COVID-19. While the reserve players seemed to have been doing the majority of the trash-talking a month ago, Jefferon is eager to deliver some payback against a Bears defense that should be healthier this time around.
Historic Milestone Ahead for Jefferson
Jefferson enters the final game of the 17-game regular season as one of the NFL’s top receivers. He is second in receiving yards (1,509), fourth in receptions (103) and seventh in touchdowns (9).
He can surpass Randy Moss’ single-season receiving yards record of 1,632 yards with 124 receiving yards on Sunday.
Jefferson addressed how his record comes with an asterisk, given Moss posted his record during a 16-game season.
“It’s not fair for the guys that only had 16 games. I get a little extra chance to get it, but it’s definitely an honor to be in this position — just competing to have the most yards in a single season,” he said in a January 6 press conference. “I couldn’t ask for anything more — being surrounded by all these guys on the team, being with Kirk — it’s just been a blessing to be in this position.”
While content with the individual accolades, Jefferson maintained its only a consolation for the goal of making the postseason.
“Very (disappointing). According to the games that we lost, we should be in the playoffs right now. We should have one of the best records in the league,” Jefferson said. “We only shot ourselves in the foot. We only hurt ourselves — not finishing the game, not coming out with energy — little things to not put us up on that scoreboard, and that’s the tough thing about it. We’re one or two games from being in the playoffs and competing.”