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Justin Jefferson Named 2022 Offensive Player of the Year by 'The Associated Press'

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Justin Jefferson oftentimes finds himself in rare air when he is on the football field.

Now, he's joining some prestigious company.

The Vikings receiver was named the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year by The Associated Press during the NFL Honors ceremony on Thursday in recognition of his record-setting season.

"First and foremost, I've got to thank the man upstairs. Without Him, none of this would be possible," Jefferson said during his acceptance speech. "The amount of blessings that He's been giving me my whole career has been amazing."

Jefferson also expressed gratitude toward his family.

Justin Jefferson was awarded the 2022 AP Offensive Player of the Year award during NFL Honors.

"I've got to thank my parents, John and Elaine Jefferson. Y'all made me into the man I am today. I appreciate y'all so much," Jefferson added. "My brothers, Jordan and Rickey, y'all made me into who I am. Y'all were so hard on me; all the countless times I cried at home, y'all were the reason that I'm tough. I appreciate y'all. More to come, more to come."

Jefferson ended the season with a league-leading and career-high 128 catches and 1,809 receiving yards. He added eight touchdown receptions (tied for 11th in the NFL), ran for another on the ground (four carries for 24 yards) and completed two pass attempts for 34 yards.

That high level of production led to franchise records being shattered. Jefferson only needed 15 games to surpass Hall of Famers Cris Carter's and Randy Moss' respective franchise marks for receptions and yards in a single season. Each playing in the 16-game era, Carter caught 122 passes in 1994, and 1995 and Moss recorded 1,632 receiving yards in 2003.

Jefferson also broke teammate Adam Thielen's single-season franchise mark for games with 100 yards or more (10), including recording three games with at least 180 yards. Against Detroit in Week 14, Jefferson topped Sammy White's franchise regular-season record for yards in a game (210 in 1976) with 223 yards on 11 catches.

In addition to breaking team records, Jefferson also snapped two NFL benchmarks. He surpassed New Orleans' Michael Thomas (321) for most receptions by a player in his first three seasons with 324 and Moss (4,163) for the most receiving yards during that span with 4,825.

Jefferson earned 35 of 50 first-place votes (70 percent) from The AP for Offensive Player of the Year, earning 192 points. Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes finished as the runner-up, getting 10 first-place votes (20 percent) and earned 75 points. Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts took third with three first-place votes and earned 52 points. Miami's Tyreek Hill and Buffalo's Josh Allen each received a first-place vote.


Jefferson is the third overall Viking to be named Offensive Player of the Year, joining Peterson (2012) and Tarkenton (1975).

He is the second consecutive wide receiver and third since 2019 to win the award, with the Los Angeles Rams Cooper Kupp taking it last season and Thomas winning it in 2019. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice won the award twice in 1987 and 1993 while with the 49ers.

Jefferson's efforts in 2022 helped the Vikings garner at least 13 victories for just the third time in franchise history.

View the best photos of Vikings WR Justin Jefferson during the 2022 season.

Jefferson came out of the gates scorching hot, posting a then-career-high 184 yards and scoring two touchdowns against Green Bay in Week 1. He struggled the next two games and was limited to just 62 yards and nine catches combined, but Jefferson bounced back with three consecutive 100-yard games, including hauling in 12 receptions on 13 targets for 154 yards against the Bears in Week 5.

He then broke his career best a few weeks later, registering 193 yards on 10 catches and scored a touchdown against Buffalo in Week 10 — including a jaw-dropping, one-handed grab on fourth-and-18 to keep a Vikings drive going late in the fourth quarter. Minnesota went on to win the game 33-30 in overtime.

Jefferson was held to less than 50 yards in two of his next three games but shattered his top receiving mark for a third time against Detroit. He then recorded two consecutive games with at least 12 catches, 100 yards and a score before finishing the regular season with 53 yards and five catches combined.

Last month, Jefferson was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-NFL and All-NFC Teams and earned First-Team All-Pro honors for the first time, as well as his third Pro Bowl selection.