Jefferson, not even a full three years into his career, has already set a multitude of records, including the most receiving yards in any player’s first two seasons and the most 100-yard receiving games through any player’s first three campaigns. On Saturday, December 24, Jefferson broke the franchise record for most receiving yards in a single year on Minnesota’s way to a 27-24 victory over the New York Giants.
The wideout caught a 25-yard pass from the hand of quarterback Kirk Cousins to set the mark, surpassing the tally of 1,632 yards that Hall-of-Fame pass catcher Randy Moss put up in 2003. Jefferson finished the day with 12 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s a blessing. It’s an honor to break his record, to be in the conversation,” Jefferson said of his accomplishment during the postgame press conference, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “But he has the golden jacket. That’s what I want at the end of my career, so I’m still chasing him for sure.”
Jefferson’s 12 grabs also vaulted Jefferson to the Vikings single-season reception record, slotting him at 123 for the year. Cris Carter made 122 catches in both the 1994 and 1995 seasons.
Jefferson on Pace to Set All-Time NFL Single-Season Receiving Mark
With that milestone in his rearview mirror, Jefferson now turns his attention to breaking the NFL’s all-time record for receiving yards in a single season.
Now 15 games into the regular season, Jefferson has amassed 123 catches (leads NFL) for 1,756 yards (leads NFL) and eight touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference. Wideout Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions set the record for receiving yards with 1,964 back in 2012. Jefferson would need 209 yards in his team’s next game to earn the record in the same number of contests as Johnson did, as the regular season was only 16 games back in 2012 and is now 17 games.
While Jefferson’s ultimate goal is help the Vikings win a Super Bowl — the team has already clinched the NFC North Division title and is in the driver’s seat to finish with the No. 2 seed in the conference, with an outside chance at the top seed — the receiver admitted that Johnson’s all-time mark is on his mind.
“If I even get close to it, it’s just going to be exciting that I even got close to it,” Jefferson told reporters during a media session Wednesday. “Of course, I would want to get to it, but if we make it to the big goal as a team, the record doesn’t matter.”
Vikings Continue to Prove Doubters Wrong With Another Close Win
With the win on Christmas Eve Day, the Vikings moved to 12-3, winning their 11th one-score game of the season. A loss by the Philadelphia Eagles (13-1) Saturday night to the Dallas Cowboys would pull Minnesota within a game of first place in the NFC. The Eagles, however, handed the Vikings one of their three losses on the year back in Week 2, which means Minnesota must finish with a better record than Philadelphia to claim the conference’s No. 1 seed.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts sat out Saturday’s game in Dallas due to a sprain in his throwing shoulder, leaving the team in the hands of backup quarterback Gardner Minshew for at least one week, and possibly longer.
Philadelphia finishes the season with home games against the New Orleans Saints (6-9) and the New York Giants (8-6-1), while Minnesota will end with back-to-back road games against the Green Bay Packers (6-8) and the Chicago Bears (3-12).