Justin Jefferson went out on a limb back in July when he said he'll be considered the NFL's best wide receiver after the 2022 season. The Vikings wideout bankrolled that bold offseason claim following a spectacular performance in Buffalo on Sunday, and flashed a big smile once asked if he thought that was indeed the case in Week 10.
"Of course, of course," Jefferson told FOX Sports' Pam Oliver after a wild 33-30 overtime win over the Bills. "I feel like I stated that today."
Jefferson caught 10 balls for a career-high 193 receiving yards and a touchdown in Minnesota's improbable win in Buffalo. It was Jefferson's 20th career game with with 100-plus receiving yards, breaking a tie with Odell Beckham and Hall of Famer Randy Moss for the most by any player in his first three seasons, according to NFL Research.
Jefferson's remarkable day was highlighted by an improbable one-handed grab in the fourth quarter that saved Minnesota from certain defeat the first time around. On fourth-and-18 with two minutes to play, Jefferson hauled in the 50-50 ball with Bills cornerback Cam Lewis draped all over him. The spectacular 32-yard catch took Minnesota from its own 27-yard line to Buffalo's 41, and extended the Vikings' late-game hopes.
Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell said after the game that Jefferson's catch was a play that only few can make in those critical situations, and one the Vikings could only dream of drawing up.
"One of the more remarkable catches I've ever seen," O'Connell remarked about the play. "He's such a special, special player. I'm really proud of the way Justin has battled all season long against a lot of different looks and a lot of different coverages. To show up time and time again when needed him today, we're really really lucky to have Justin and the plays he made for us today."
Befittingly enough, Jefferson's career day came against the team Minnesota traded its former star WR before drafting the LSU product in 2020. Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs is a viable argument against Jefferson's claim and added to that assertion on Sunday with a game-high 12 catches for 128 yards in the losing effort.
After Week 10, Jefferson ranks second in the league in receiving yards (1,060) and fourth in receptions (69) while adding four touchdowns to his totals. Regardless the outcome of what is ultimately a moot point, Jefferson being in that argument at 23 years old is certainly a feat in itself.