The dynamic wide receiver produced another spectacular game on Saturday, December 17, hauling in 12 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. His contributions were considerable in Minnesota’s record-breaking comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts, in which they erased a 33-0 halftime deficit to win the game by a field goal in overtime.
After the contest was over and his team had officially claimed the NFC North Division title, Jefferson filmed a heartfelt message for Vikings fans and sent it out over the internet.
“Ya’ll know what’s good. I appreciate ya’ll support,” Jefferson said. “Hey, I know we scared ya’ll in the first half, but stick with us. We gonna hold ya’ll on our back, and we gonna fight to the end. Ya’ll know what’s good.”
Making History Now Routine For Vikings Wideout Justin Jefferson
The Vikings’ crazy come-from-behind win on Saturday wasn’t the first time Jefferson has been a part of history during his initial three NFL seasons — far from it, in fact.
The wideout already owned the record for most receiving yards through a player’s first two seasons, per StatMuse, by putting up 3,016 during his first two campaigns. Jefferson also broke a three-way tie with former Vikings great Randy Moss and fellow LSU alumni Odell Beckham Jr. for the most 100-yard receiving games through three seasons when he recorded his 20th such outing against the Buffalo Bills back on November 13, per Sportsnaut. Jefferson has since eclipsed the 100-yard mark three more times.
Already a two-time Pro Bowler, Jefferson is on track for the first All-Pro honors of his career in just his third season. He has recorded 111 catches for 1,623 yards and seven touchdowns on the year, per Pro Football Reference, and still has three contests yet to play.
Jefferson is likely to see significant run in all of those contests, as Minnesota fights for playoff position with the Philadelphia Eagles (12-1) and the San Francisco 49ers (10-4), both of which have already clinched their respective divisions as well. That puts Calvin Johnson’s all-time single-season receiving record of 1,964 yards within Jefferson’s reach, as he pushes to become the first pass-catcher to ever eclipse the 2,000-yard barrier. He is currently averaging a league-leading 116 yards per game. If Jefferson holds to that output for the rest of the year, he would finish 2022 with 1,981 receiving yards.
Jefferson Produced Vikings’ Version of ‘The Catch’ Against Bills
Even when Jefferson isn’t busy making history, he’s still sorta making history. Case in point, the Vikings’ version of ‘The Catch’ against the Bills back in Week 10.
Jefferson made an impossible grab on a 4th-and-18 play in the fourth quarter, skying above Buffalo defensive back Cam Lewis to secure the one-handed catch and extend the game. The Vikings ended up forcing overtime and winning by a field goal, which was the same OT narrative that played out against the Colts on Saturday.
Jefferson’s message to fans following Minnesota’s historic victory over Indianapolis speaks to the doubt that has swirled around this Vikings team all year. Despite an 11-3 record, Minnesota has a point differential of only +2 on the season. Some of that is due to a couple of blowout losses, but the larger criticism is that the Vikings have been lucky to win 10 one-score games.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been iffy, save for almost always showing up big in the clutch, and the defense has been lackluster — an adjective that is probably too kind considering the unit’s performance over much of the season.
Still, Jefferson’s words offer reassurance to the Vikings faithful that this team isn’t a fluke, that there is no reason to doubt. Why? Because when the game is on the line, Minnesota will always have Jefferson on their side of the field, which means victory will never truly be beyond the Vikings’ grasp.