MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - We’re just a few days away from the Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., and on Thursday night, the NFL handed out its annual awards.
Justin Jefferson will go home with some hardware. The Minnesota Vikings star wide receiver was named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year. Jefferson led the NFL with 128 catches for 1,809 receiving yards. Both numbers set Vikings’ single-season records. Jefferson came just short of catching Calvin Johnson’s record for 1,964 yards in a single season.
Jefferson received 35 first-place votes for the honor, topping the 10 for Patrick Mahomes.
Jefferson also had arguably the catch of the year, converting a 4th-and-18 a Buffalo with a one-handed snag in a game the Vikings eventually won in overtime. The play won the NFL's Moment of the Year Award, one Jefferson wasn't ready to accept.
Jefferson set the NFL record for receiving yards in a player’s first three seasons (4,825), and has been to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons. Jefferson was named First Team All-Pro this season. He’s the fifth wide receiver ever to win Offensive Player of the Year. He's the third Viking to win the award, joining Adrian Peterson and Fran Tarkenton.
Jefferson had eight touchdowns this season, and now has 25 in 50 career games.
Jefferson averaged 14.1 yards per catch this season, under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell. Jefferson helped lead the Vikings to 13 regular season wins for just the third time in franchise history, and to the team’s first NFC North Division title in five seasons.