Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson broke Odell Beckham Jr.’s record for most receiving yards in a player’s first two seasons in the league, but it was his critical comments after the team’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday that stood out the most.
Jefferson has 97 catches for 1,451 yards and nine touchdowns this season – all of which are career highs. He has 2,851 receiving yards in his first two seasons with the Vikings – 31 total games.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) runs from Los Angeles Rams cornerback Darious Williams (11) after catching a pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
However, the 30-23 loss to the Rams left a bad taste in Jefferson’s mouth.
“We came out way too slow. You know, we didn’t have any energy in the first quarter. … I felt as soon as I came into the locker room, trying to pick up the guys. … We still didn’t come up with that energy that we needed to,” Jefferson said after the game, via the Star Tribune.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass ahead of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (5) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Jefferson said the team needed to execute better in the red zone. Minnesota was 2-for-5 when it got down close to the end zone.
“I think we should, you know, be more aggressive, when we get down there. As soon as we get down there. But I’m not the one calling the plays. I’m just here to do my job and do what was told to me. But we can’t get down to the red zone that many times and come out with three points,” he said.
Minnesota had been vying for a playoff spot coming down to the last weeks of the season. But a loss after two straight wins really hurts the team’s chances.
Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at U.S. Bank Stadium on Dec. 9, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (David Berding/Getty Images)
The Vikings are 7-8 and are sitting in the ninth spot of the playoff picture.