Justin Jefferson: Minnesota Vikings receiver says London is ready for ‘the Griddy’ as he looks to star on Tottenham Hotspur stage | NFL News


Justin Jefferson: “I’ve got to have that swagger leading into the game; that helps with my performance, that mentality that no one can guard me”; watch the Vikings face the Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, live on Sky Sports NFL from 2.30pm

Last Updated: 02/10/22 12:52am


Minnesota Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson talks to Sky Sports' Neil Reynolds as he gets ready for his first game in London at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday

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Minnesota Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson talks to Sky Sports’ Neil Reynolds as he gets ready for his first game in London at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday

Minnesota Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson talks to Sky Sports’ Neil Reynolds as he gets ready for his first game in London at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday

Justin Jefferson is the best wide receiver in the NFL. Fact. Or certainly he has been since he entered the league as the 22nd pick in the 2020 Draft.

Jefferson leads the NFL with 3,262 receiving yards in the subsequent two and a bit seasons, picking up right where he left off in Week One of this campaign with nine catches, 184 yards and two TDs in a dominant display against the Green Bay Packers.

Now, he and the Vikings take his talents to London as they face the New Orleans Saints in the first NFL International Series game of the season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, live on Sky Sports NFL from 1.30pm (Kick-Off, 2.30pm).

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Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports ahead of the contest, Jefferson says his success is down to an unwavering confidence and mindset that “no one can guard me”.

“That confidence I’ve always got to have, especially come game time,” Jefferson said. “I’ve had that ever since I was a little kid.

Watch some of the top plays from Minnesota's productive pair of wide receivers, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen

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Watch some of the top plays from Minnesota’s productive pair of wide receivers, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen

Watch some of the top plays from Minnesota’s productive pair of wide receivers, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen

“On game days, that switch turns on and it’s a whole different mode. I have to have that mentality, no matter who I’m going up against – even if it’s the best cornerback to ever play the game.

“I’ve got to have that swagger leading into the game; that helps with my performance, that mentality that no one can guard me.”

Highlights of the Green Bay Packers against the Minnesota Vikings from Week One of the NFL season

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Highlights of the Green Bay Packers against the Minnesota Vikings from Week One of the NFL season

Highlights of the Green Bay Packers against the Minnesota Vikings from Week One of the NFL season

And certainly no Packers player could guard him on that opening-day win over Green Bay, a performance that prompted Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to say, “best player on the field today”. Head coach Matt LaFleur too conceded Jefferson “wore us out today”.

“Cris Carter and Randy Moss were the best to do it ever at my position. To have those two guys in Minnesota, being a role model and people I can look up to, it helps a lot.”

Justin Jefferson on Vikings’ receiver history

Kevin O’Connell ‘connects with players’ | Coach’s arrival ‘a relief’

As many had predicted prior to the season, first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell – the offensive coordinator for Sean McVay’s Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams last season – seems to have provided the perfect scheme to showcase Jefferson’s prodigious talents.

First-time head coach Kevin O'Connell arrived in Minnesota from the Los Angeles Rams this offseason

First-time head coach Kevin O’Connell arrived in Minnesota from the Los Angeles Rams this offseason

It’s set to be a partnership that will flourish over the coming years in the NFL, with Jefferson already waxing lyrical over what the new coach has brought to the team.

“It has been great,” he said. “KO [Kevin O’Connell] has been doing a great job with putting different plays in to try and get me open.

“Ever since he got here, it has been a relief – it has been great to have a head coach that connects with his players very well.

“We have been having so much fun just being around him; he is a great guy, great coach – we’re definitely happy to have him on our team.”

‘I can’t wait to get in the endzone in London’

That said, Jefferson has seen his targets and impact reduced over the last couple of games following on from that stellar opening against the Packers.

Highlights of the Detroit Lions against the Minnesota Vikings in Week Three of the NFL season

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Highlights of the Detroit Lions against the Minnesota Vikings in Week Three of the NFL season

Highlights of the Detroit Lions against the Minnesota Vikings in Week Three of the NFL season

He has been held to only nine catches and 62 yards in Weeks Two and Three combined, with his 4.7 yards per reception in last Sunday’s win over the Detroit Lions a career-low mark.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Jefferson said. “You don’t want to finish a game with just three catches and a little bit of yards. But some of that comes with double coverage and defenses keying in on you.

“That opens things up for other players on the offense. And it is what it is at the end of the day, as long as we get the win.”

“They have a lot of great players on that defense. [Marshon] Lattimore is definitely a difficult defender to go up against. He is very smart, patient and fast, so it’s hard to beat him down the field.”

Justin Jefferson on Saints’ defense

Jefferson is eyeing up precisely that on Sunday in London, a win, and a personal trip or two to the endzone allowing for his trademark celebration to get a run out.

The NFL returns to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend as the Minnesota Vikings face the New Orleans Saints

The NFL returns to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend as the Minnesota Vikings face the New Orleans Saints

Asked if he thinks UK fans are ready for ‘the Griddy’, Jefferson answered confidently in the affirmative: “I think they are.

“It’s going to be my first Griddy on another continent. It’s going to be exciting.

“I can’t wait to get in the endzone; we’re going to get everybody on the whole offense to do the Griddy.”

Watch Justin Jefferson in action for the Minnesota Vikings as they face the New Orleans Saints at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London – live on Sky Sports NFL, Sunday from 1.30pm (Kick-Off, 2.30pm).





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