Friday, September 30

Justin Jefferson says Vikings offense will be ‘less predictable’ and moves team ‘to a new generation’

The results for the 2021 Minnesota Vikings offense could best be described as “pretty good.” Minnesota finished the regular season ranked 12th in total yards and 14th in total points. In efficiency metrics like expected points added (EPA) per play and Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA), they ranked 16th. 

Under former head coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings often prioritized controlling the ball and not taking chances, instead of trying to create explosive plays. That won’t be the case under his replacement, Kevin O’Connell — at least according to star wide receiver Justin Jefferson. 

“We had an old-style offense last year,” Jefferson said, per USA Today. “It’s 2022. You get into a new age and move to a new generation. Adding new things to the offense definitely allows us to be more comfortable with the offense and work in different areas of the fields.”

O’Connell explained how he’ll move the philosophy he used during his time with the Los Angeles Rams forward, and how the evolution of offense over the last few seasons has already done so. 

“For so long the game kind of became this condensed game where everybody was building things, the marriage of the run and the pass,” O’Connell said. “But as times kind of moved forward, I think spreading the field out, not playing the game in a phone booth, has been a productive thing for some offenses. Putting the game in the quarterback’s hands a little more, trying to run some premier plays vs. premier looks. And really, when in doubt, trust space-rhythm-timing of offenses to hold you true to your core and what you’re trying to get accomplished.”

For Jefferson, that leads to a big change, in that the Vikings’ offense will be “very less predictable.”

Minnesota being able to test defenses in a wider variety of ways, to more areas of the field, should benefit the offense. A superstar like Jefferson can do just about everything a coach asks him to do. Putting more on Kirk Cousins’ plate may or may not work out, but it’s not as though the Vikings’ conservative approach during the latter portion of the Zimmer era got them where they wanted to go anyway. 





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