The third-year star has forced his way into Most Valuable Player conversations and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for November — most notably for his 10-catch, 193-yard performance and one-handed catch in a win over the Buffalo Bills.
Jefferson’s humbleness has been an asset to his success as the 23-year-old has remained on a path of proving the NFL wrong since he was the fifth wide receiver selected in his draft class.
Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Claps Back at Jets CB D.J. Reed After Postgame Trash Talk
Following a 27-22 loss to the Vikings on December 4, Reed was asked about how he thought his team handled Jefferson. Upset about giving up a touchdown catch to Jefferson in coverage, Reed’s answer quickly became about himself.
I was in his s*** all game. He got that one route on me,” Reed said, per The Athletic’s Zach Rosenblatt.
Jefferson retweeted the video of Reed’s locker room interview and replied, “In what shit. You can’t talk having safety help… call me when yo coach trust you to go 1v1.”
The Jets held Jefferson relatively in check, allowing seven receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown. Jefferson beat Reed on an out route in the end zone in the fourth quarter, which proved to be the Vikings’ game-winning score.
A reporter told Jefferson Reed credited the Vikings star’s deceptive hesitation move right before he broke off the top of his route, to which Jefferson replied with a chuckle.
“I’m glad he said that,” Jefferson said in a postgame press conference. “That’s what I want him to think. Just mirroring everything to make it look the same. At the top of the route, I kind of have a double up and hitting back to the outside. Kind of just waddle him to sleep a little bit on that play and it was a good spot by Kirk.”
Vikings Offense Sputters, But Kirk Cousins Comes Away With Another Game-Winner
The Vikings pounced on New York early by holding at one point a 17-point lead in the first half. However, the offense wasn’t nearly as effective in the second half as the third quarter has continued to haunt Minnesota.
Kirk Cousins and the offense had just 10 yards of total offense in the second half before breaking open a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped by Kirk Cousins’ touchdown pass to Jefferson. It proved to be Cousins’ seventh game-winning drive this season, which leads the NFL.
But that didn’t make the final 8 minutes, 33 seconds of the game any easier. The Vikings went three-and-out on their final two possessions, leaving the defense to have to close the game.
Of Minnesota’s 89 yards of offense in the second half, 75 came on that scoring drive. The other 14 yards came across five different possessions.
“Give the other side credit; I thought they made some adjustments offensively, and then defensively that’s another really, really good front, really good defense. Our guys kind of just continued to battle, and we did not want to make that one mistake,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said in his postgame press conference. “We did not want to make a critical error that would allow them to completely grasp the momentum in the game, but ultimately you’re exactly right, we would love to avoid that third quarter lull and that’s something I’ve got to take a long look at, look inward and try to be better for our guys.”