E Point Perfect

Justin Jefferson Compares Himself to a GOAT


Justin Jefferson Compares Himself to Another GOAT
Jun 25, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series 23XI Racing owner Michael Jordan. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports.

A few athletes in sports history make most people’s Mount Rushmore, and Michael Jordan is one of them. The NBA legend won six NBA championships and five MVP awards and arguably should’ve gotten more than those five. Jordan is 0ne of the rare athletes that become bigger than their sport. The Hall of Famer is an icon all around the globe.

Justin Jefferson Compares
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Justin Jefferson should still be considered a young player in the league, as he is only in his third season and played 47 games in his career. In those 47 games, Jefferson already dug deep into the record books and set the rookie receiving record that has since been broken by Ja’Mar Chase, the record for most yards in the first two and three seasons, respectively, and will most likely pass Randy Moss for the most receiving yards in a single season in Vikings franchise history.

Justin Jefferson Compares Himself to a GOAT

Jordan’s legacy rose in the playoffs, where he won all six finals and never even needed a Game 7 to do so. On his way to becoming an all-time great, Jordan had to face some tough battles, especially the Detroit Pistons were a problem for him and his Bulls.

The Pistons eliminated Jordan’s Bulls in three consecutive postseasons from 1988 to 1990. In some cases, the Pistons physically beat down Jordan, hard fouls were the norm and not an exception, and the Pistons were even named ‘The Bad Boys.’ Jordan, however, came back with his team in 1991 and beat the Pistons 4-0 in their playoffs series to move on to the Finals and win his first title.

Justin Jefferson Record Watch + Other Vikings Storylines
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8), wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18), and wide receiver Adam Thielen. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

That’s where Justin Jefferson sees some resemblance. In recent games, Jefferson was tackled hard a few times, and his head was targeted a few times. In the game against the Colts last Saturday, Jefferson was hit in the head twice, once by Stephon Gilmore and once by Rodney Thomas.

The Vikings wanted the offenders, especially Gilmore, to be ejected from the game. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said after the game that he doesn’t think it happens by accident.

I think it was the fifth or sixth week in a row he took a type of hit that drew a flag. Clearly, there’s an emphasis (from) the teams we’re playing that, some of those hits, they don’t seem to be by accident.

Kevin O’Connell about the hard hits on Justin Jefferson

Jefferson was visibly upset by the hit from Gilmore, who launched and hit Jefferson on the head. While Gilmore doesn’t have a history of dirty plays, he is certainly a veteran player that knows how to properly tackle opponents without danger to their health.

Jefferson was evaluated for a concussion but quickly returned to the game. The play he missed led to an interception because Jalen Reagor gave up on a route. While the Vikings won the game, Gilmore’s cheap shot helped the Colts.

All-White-Everything for Vikings Fans on Christmas Eve
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

On Wednesday, Jefferson talked about the plays and brought up the basketball icon.

I was just telling somebody earlier it’s like Michael Jordan and the Detroit Pistons. They’re trying to take out the best player. Trying to put as much physical abuse on him, I kinda feel that way. People on defenses we’re facing, they’re trying whatever it takes for me not to get those big plays, for me not to set the offense up to get more yards. I feel like it’s happening more but it is what it is when you’re this type of player.

Justin Jefferson about the hard hits he is taking

“This type of player” refers to his unstoppable play. He has more than 100 receiving yards in average games. In 2022, his average yards per game is an incredible 115.9. In nine of the 14 games, Jefferson topped 100 yards and had one with 98.

Records? Fine. But Justin Jefferson Wants More.
Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson. © JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The third-year player needs 10 more yards to break the single-season Vikings record, held by Randy Moss, and 342 for the all-time NFL record from Calvin Johnson. Even a 2,000-yard season is in play, as he needs 377 yards in the final three games of the campaign.

O’Connell implied that he would not bench Jefferson because his receiver would not be happy about it. Considering the hard hits, maybe the two should re-think that, as the Vikings need him in the already-secured postseason game. Jefferson has to play through the contact like Jordan did and hope that referees and the league will protect one of their most valuable assets. Vikings fans certainly wouldn’t complain about six championships.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt


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