Brutal Week 17 Could Cost Minnesota Vikings WR Jefferson Shot at History

The Minnesota Vikings laid an egg in Week 17, losing 41-17 to the Green Bay Packers. Thankfully, they've already secured the NFC North, and they didn't have a realistic shot at snatching away the top seed from the 13-3 Philadelphia Eagles, anyway. But they didn't totally avoid negative consequences: wide receiver Justin Jefferson secured only one of his five targets for 15 yards, potentially costing him a chance at setting a record for receiving yards in a season in Week 18.

Jefferson entered Week 17 needing 209 receiving yards over his final two games to break Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson's single-season record of 1964. Jefferson had been averaging 117.1 yards per game through his first 15 games. Then along came Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander to ruin the party.

Now, Jefferson will need to compile 194 yards in a meaningless Week 18 matchup against the Chicago Bears in order to exceed Johnson's 16-game total. With little to play for, the Vikings are as likely to rest Jefferson as they are to feed him the necessary targets he'd need to achieve the feat.

Even without the record, Jefferson can take pride in an amazing season. He broke Randy Moss' franchise record for receiving yards in a season, and his career total of 4787 yards through three seasons is by far the most of any player in NFL history. He'll also have a chance to play in the postseason for the first time in his career. Record or not, Jefferson is well on his way to going down as one of the all-time greats at his position.

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