EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson already cracked the top 10 in franchise receiving yards in just 46 games.
Games like last week with 223 through the air for a new team regular-season record (topped Sammy White's 210 in 1976) will do that for the first player in NFL history to record at least 1,400 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons.
Jefferson's tally in Detroit gives him an even 1,500 on the season. He needs 108 to pass Stefon Diggs for ninth on the team leaderboard and 133 to set a new single-season record (Randy Moss had 1,632 in 2003). Diggs totaled 4,623 receiving yards in 70 games for Minnesota.
Jefferson came close to Moss' single-season mark last year, finishing with 1,616 after playing in the NFL's first year of a 17-game schedule.
Rather that reaching any of those marks, or the NFL's single-season best of 1,964 by Calvin Johnson in 2012, Jefferson is focused on helping the Vikings (10-3) in their next opportunity to clinch the NFC North with a win or tie against the Colts (4-8-1) at noon (CT) Saturday.
Here are all the ways to catch the action, a synopsis of the series history and a key topic addressed this week by Vikings Offensive Coordinator Wes Phillips, Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell and Special Teams Coordinator Matt Daniels.
View game action images between matchups of the Vikings and Colts through the years.
KSTP in the Twin Cities and WXIN FOX 59 in Indianapolis also will broadcast the game.
Kickoff: Noon (CT) Saturday, Dec. 17
Play-by-Play: Noah Eagle
Analyst: Nate Burleson
Sideline reporters: Lindsay Czarniak and Tom Pelissero
Radio: KFAN (100.3-FM), KTLK (1130-AM) and the five-state Vikings Radio Network
Radio Pregame Show: Hosted by Mike Mussman (10 a.m.)
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen
Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline reporter: Ben Leber
New this year: People in Minnesota will be able to listen to the Vikings Radio Network broadcast through the iHeartRadio app on their smart devices.
SPANISH RADIO BROADCAST
New for the 2022 season, the Vikings will air a Spanish broadcast of all games.
You can hear the Vikings on Tico Sports at WREY "El Rey" 94.9-FM and 630-AM in the Twin Cities and on Tico-Sports.com, elrey949fm.com and vikings.com. Additionally, the stream will be available as part of NFL+.
Play-by-Play: Gabriel Rios
Analyst: Isaias Nunez Zendejas
Indianapolis: SiriusXM 134 or 228 and the SXM App
Minnesota: SiriusXM 121 or 383 and the SXM App
VIKINGS MOBILE APP
Keep the Vikings nearby wherever you go with the Minnesota Vikings mobile app. A source for news and exclusive features, the app also will stream video broadcasts of games for people in the market/broadcast area of each game.
Click here for the full bevy of options that include over-the-air, cable, satellite, over-the-top and streaming methods.
NFL+ AND NFL+ PREMIUM
Start your free trial of NFL+ today to watch Vikings preseason games live or on-demand.
NFL+ and NFL+ Premium provide all the action when you are on the go. It is available in the NFL app and at NFL.com/plus.
NFL+ is available for $4.99/month or $39.99/year and offers the following:
· Live out-of-market preseason games across devices
· Live local and prime-time regular-season and postseason games on your phone or tablet
· Live game audio (home, away & national calls) for every game of the season
· NFL library programming on-demand, ad-free
NFL+ Premium is available for $9.99/month or $79.99/year and offers all of the NFL+ features and the following:
· Full-game replays across devices (ad-free)
· Condensed game replays across devices (ad-free)
· Coaches film (ad-free)
Minnesota is 7-18-1 all-time in 26 games (includes 0-1 in 1968 NFL playoff game) against Indianapolis and is seeking its first victory in the series since 1997.
Phillips on the Vikings struggles to run the ball against the Lions:
The Vikings struggled to get the ground game going against the Lions. Minnesota's longest run went for a gain of 5, and Detroit made multiple tackles for losses.
The final tally was 22 net yards on 17 carries for a paltry 1.3 yards per rush.
"Sometimes there's a scheme issue and we look very critically at ourselves as far as what we're calling and where. And then sometimes there's an execution error where we're working to a linebacker, and he runs right through and tackles the back," Phillips said. "Those are generally technique things; they're not anything but where my feet are placed, the angle of my pads, eyes to the second level, those types of things where you get a run-through and you should be able to shut that off.
"If we can get hats on hats at the first and second level there with the linebackers, we've got good enough backs that are going to turn out some yards," Phillips added. "There's certainly a combination of things when the run game as a whole isn't producing like we want, but it starts with us, putting them in a good position, making sure they have clarity on what they need to do and then after that, it's on them to execute it."
Donatell on trying to improve the way the pass rush and coverage are working together:
The Vikings defense has faced some tough offenses in recent weeks but has yielded more yards and points than it wants. Minnesota places a lot of emphasis on disguise and likely missed the expert level with which Harrison Smith is able to do that last week.
The goal is trying to make the QB wait until after the play starts to know where to go with the football, which in theory allows the rush to affect the quarterback.
"It is disguise. And it's unveiling sameness and likeness looks to slow down the quarterback. When you do that with the coverage and rush, you have the picture you want. Again, we have a vision out there. We know what it looks like. We're just not quite there every week.
"Let's not lose sight that these guys have made a lot of plays. We've got a lot of interceptions, we've got a good number of sacks, we have guys that have made some great clutch plays, OK? So, 'Let's shore up this area, work through it, embrace it,' that kind of thing. That's where we are. And know that, OK, so you're going to work through this challenge — there'll be another one. Don't think that it's over. Whether that comes next year or somewhere along the line. It's really about your processes, when you hit little tough spots — and this is a tough spot, we don't want to do that; that is in no way the standard that we want to play at or the effect we want to have on a quarterback. We want to make it harder. It's not hard enough. As long as you're working at it, taking a hard look at yourself, you'll get there."
Daniels on Detroit's 35-yard punt return and the Lions fake punt:
Detroit was able to return a 64-yard punt by rookie Ryan Wright 35 yards to the Minnesota 48 and score a touchdown a play later for a 14-7 lead in the first half.
"We live in the world of a very momentous type of phase where big plays really can swing the emotions of the game," Daniels said, "especially when you're on the road where you can look at it where you hit a 65-yard punt and they return it for 20 yards, which results in a ball that's a 45 net, or you can hit a ball that's 48 yards and they return it for 3. You get the same exact result of a 45 net, but you get two different types of plays."
The Lions also succeeded on a fake punt to pick up a fourth-and-8 from their own 26-yard line early in the third quarter. Detroit finished that drive with another touchdown for a 21-7 lead.
"We were kind of late on the rotation right there, backed up situation, we're talking about a team who is facing, basically every single week is a playoff type of game for them, so going into it, I had a good idea they would try to steal a possession right there," Daniels said. "Would I think it would be a fourth-and-8 on their own 26-yard line? Maybe so, probably not, but again, we were late on the rotation getting over there, and it ended up being a huge, momentous type of play for them where you give up the big return and get the fake punt happening, you can kind of say 14 points was huge from a field position type of battle."