The Vikings have a quarterback with a history of struggling in primetime. Balancing that out is the presence of a receiver with a habit of showing up in primetime. And in most every other game.
“I love it,” receiver Justin Jefferson said after Thursday night’s 33-26 win over the Patriots, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I mean these are the type of games that I love the most. Thursday nights. Primetime. The whole world is watching you. No better time to go off.”
Jefferson had nine catches for 139 yards. Along the way, he passed former Vikings receiver Randy Moss with the most receiving yards in the first three years of a player’s career.
“It means a lot,” Jefferson said regarding the new record he holds. “It means that my course of reaching the Hall of Fame is near. But I’m just going to keep working, doing whatever it takes to make plays for this team. I love this team. I’ll do anything for it. When that ball is in the air, it’s mine.”
Not only is the ball his, but he also has an uncanny skill of holding the ball no matter how hard his body hits the ground, and no matter how hard another body hits his. He had one of each last night, slamming against the ground and holding on at the tail end of a 37-yard catch and, later, getting blasted after making a 36-yard grab.
And that’s helping Kirk Cousins play even better. He knows he can trust Jefferson to contort his body both to go get the ball and to keep possession of it, once he has it in his hands. No matter what happens.