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Lunchbreak: Jefferson Among's Top Playmakers From Week 11

Justin Jefferson is once again putting the league on notice.

The Vikings wide receiver did so during a dazzling 2020 season in which he set a Super Bowl-era rookie record with 1,400 receiving yards.

And after back-to-back monstrous games, the former LSU standout has people talking about him once again.

Adam Schein, a columnist for, included Jefferson in his list of top playmakers from Week 11.

Schein wrote:

This guy is a certified stud. I voted him first-team All-Pro last year, when he set a rookie record with 1,400 receiving yards, and he's been even better in Year 2. Just look at his inspired work over the last two weeks: nine catches for 143 yards in a 27-20 win over the Chargers; eight catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-31 win over the Packers. Those two victories were enormous for the Vikings, who now find themselves right back in the playoff picture at 5-5, currently holding the NFC's No. 6 seed. This is what I love about the 22-year-old wideout: his knack for making big plays in big games.

With 11 100-yard games to his name, Jefferson only trails Odell Beckham, Jr., (15) for the most such outings in the first two years of a career in NFL history. And hey, with seven games left in Jefferson's sophomore campaign, OBJ's seat on the throne isn't exactly secure.

Jefferson has 63 receptions for 944 yards and six touchdowns this season.

In the past two games, he has posted 17 catches for 312 yards and two scores. That yardage total is tied for the fifth-most across any two-game stretch in team history.

Well-known football scribe Peter King also noted Jefferson's recent surge in his weekly Football Morning in America column.

King's piece mostly included a breakdown of the chaotic final few minutes of Minnesota's 34-31 win over Green Bay, but he made sure to mention the Vikings second-year superstar wide receiver.

King wrote:

So the Vikings survive. At 5-5, they're in play for a Wild Card seed, in part because of the three games remaining with Chicago (two) and Detroit (one). They need to keep Justin Jefferson, the best receiver in 2020 draft, involved; he's so tough to cover 1-on-1. The Vikings would be a tough Wild Card game for anyone. Getting there will be tougher than winning in the first round.

Jefferson has 151 catches for 2,344 yards and 13 scores in 26 career games.

CBS Sports ranks NFC Wild Card contenders

With seven weeks to go, there seem to be seven strong contenders battling for the final two NFC playoff spots.

Yes, there are three total Wild Card berths, but the 7-3 Rams have a leg up on the rest of the competition.

Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports recently ranked the teams who likely won't win their respective divisions but are still looking to get into the dance.

Benjamin put Los Angeles first, of course, but then listed Minnesota in the second spot as the Vikings lead the seven other contenders for a Wild Card position.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 5, 2022.

He wrote:

Did you know the Vikings are averaging more yards per game than the Cardinals, Chargers, Packers, Titans and literally 21 other teams this year? Mike Zimmer's defense hasn't exactly been dominant this year, letting opponents go up and down the field, but it hasn't wrecked their chances because Kirk Cousins and Co. have been rolling most of the season, with Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson giving them two of the game's best players at their positions. They're a threat strictly because they've got firepower.

The rest of Benjamin's list featured, in order, the Eagles, 49ers, Panthers, Saints, Washington Football Team and Falcons.

The seven teams below the Rams all have at least four wins but not more than five wins in the muddled playoff picture.

Minnesota (5-5) and New Orleans (5-5) currently hold the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively.