Justin Jefferson Responds to Growing MVP Buzz

Tyler Maher
Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson is making a strong push for MVP.
Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson is making a strong push for MVP. / ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Justin Jefferson just keeps getting better. The Minnesota Vikings wideout has seen his numbers improve in all three of his NFL seasons to the point where he's now a legitimate MVP candidate.

For his part, Jefferson feels he at least belongs in the conversation.

Justin Jefferson MVP Odds

The 23-year-old has catapulted himself into MVP discussions this year with his historic campaign, which could result in him becoming the first player ever to record 2,000 receiving yards in an NFL season. He currently leads the league with 1,756 and is on pace for 1,990, which would shatter Calvin Johnson's single-season record of 1,964 from 2012.

Jefferson has been one of the top offensive players in the sport this year, leading the NFL in receptions (123), receiving yards per game (117.1) and yards per touch (14.0). He's also finishing the season on a tear with 479 receiving yards over his last three games (159.7 per contest).

Between his individual success and leading role on a Vikings team with the second-best record in the NFL (12-3), Jefferson certainly has a case for MVP. His numbers aren't much different from the ones Cooper Kupp put up for the Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams last year, however, and Kupp settled for third place in the MVP balloting.

It's also incredibly hard for a non-quarterback to win the award, especially in the pass-heavy environment of the modern NFL. Since 2007, 14 of the past 15 MVP winners have been QBs, with Adrian Peterson in 2012 as the lone exception.

Not surprisingly, a signal-caller seems likely to take home the 2022 trophy as well. Patrick Mahomes is currently the betting favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds with -500 odds, followed by fellow QBs Joe Burrow (+600), Josh Allen (+1000) and Jalen Hurts (+1100). Jefferson is a distant fifth at +15000, so he's unlikely to win even with a monster finish.

Even if Jefferson ends up falling short in the MVP voting, however, that doesn't take away from how special this season has been for him and his teammates.

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