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Justin Jefferson breaking records in second season with Minnesota Vikings

Andrew Buller-Russ
Justin Jefferson
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all the historical greats the Minnesota Vikings have had at wide receiver over the franchise’s 60-year history, Justin Jefferson is on pace to do something no other player has done before. An accomplishment that Anthony Carter, Cris Carter, and not even Randy Moss could achieve in their storied careers.

Just 30 games into his NFL career, Jefferson is putting up stats no other player in the NFL’s 100-year history has done before. On Sunday, he has a chance to break another record. Jefferson is just 21 yards away from passing Odell Beckham Jr. for the most receiving yards in a receiver’s first two NFL seasons.

Most receiving yards in a player’s first two seasons

  1. Odell Beckham Jr. – 2,755 receiving yards
  2. Justin Jefferson – 2,735 receiving yards
  3. Randy Moss – 2,726 receiving yards
  4. Bill Groman – 2,648 receiving yards
  5. Jerry Rice – 2,497 receiving yards

Jefferson will undoubtedly surpass OBJ when the Vikings take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but what are some other records the Pro Bowl receiver could also achieve?

He’s only 19 receptions behind Michael Thomas for the most receptions in an NFL player’s first two seasons.

Most receptions in a player’s first two seasons

  1. Michael Thomas – 196 catches
  2. Jarvis Landry – 194 catches
  3. Christian McCaffrey – 187 catches
  4. Odell Beckham Jr. – 187 catches
  5. Justin Jefferson – 177 catches

While no one will catch up to Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp’s 1,625 receiving yards this season, Jefferson is his closest competitor at 1,335 yards. Keep in mind, the Rams operate a pass-first offense, the Vikings would cringe at the idea under Mike Zimmer. Although, Kirk Cousins does actually have four more passing attempts than Matthew Stafford, which indicates some leniency on Zimmer’s part.

Many were surprised to see Jefferson put up the rookie numbers that he did. Now that the tape is out, some wanted to see if he could do it again. It hasn’t mattered. Jefferson is a game-changing impact playmaker that cannot be held back and has actually improved upon his stats as a rookie.

  • Justin Jefferson stats (rookie) – 88 receptions, 1,400 yards, 7 TD, 58 first downs (16 games, 14 starts)
  • Justin Jefferson stats (2021) – 89 receptions, 1,335 yards, 9 TD, 64 first downs (14 starts)

Entering Week 16, Jefferson leads the NFL with 14.3 yards per touch. It’s yet another reminder that defenders simply cannot contain him on the football field. If he can keep up his dominant performances, there’s no reason why we won’t mention Jefferson with the all-time greats as his career nears the end. But for now, Jefferson is 100% deserving of being considered one of the best wide receivers in football