Vikings WR Justin Jefferson looks to catch rookie record in finale
It’s largely been a campaign of disappointment for the Minnesota Vikings.
With just one game remaining in a lost season, the Vikings have been eliminated from the playoffs and clinched their first losing season since 2014.
There have been highlights, though, and perhaps the brightest has been the play of rookie Pro Bowler Justin Jefferson.
The No. 22 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft has emerged as the best among a celebrated rookie wide receiver class and needs 111 yards receiving in his final game to break the rookie receiving yards record.
Jefferson is currently sits at 1,267 yards in his first season, which is fourth all-time behind Odell Beckham (New York Giants, 2014, 1,305 yards), Randy Moss (Minnesota Vikings, 1998, 1,313) and record-holder Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals, 2003, 1,377), per NFL Research.
Facing the Detroit Lions in a game in which there’s little at stake, Jefferson is up against the No. 30 passing defense.
Though the Lions defense has struggled for the better part of the season, as of late it’s been downright porous.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers standout Mike Evans had 181 yards in Week 16 against Detroit, which was the fifth 100-yard outing for a wideout over the last six games against the Lions. Four of those five games saw receivers go for more 111 yards or more, which is what Jefferson needs to haul in the record.
Jefferson’s turned in six 100-yard games so far, ending up with north of 111 yards on four occasions.
Part of a much-ballyhooed rookie wide receiver class, Jefferson was the fifth receiver selected, but has become the top performer. Now, he’s got four quarters to emerge as the best rookie receiver in the Super Bowl era – at least in terms of receiving yards.
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