Ja’Marr Chase Pushes Justin Jefferson Down the NFL Record Book

Going into Week 17, the Cincinatti Bengals needed a win and a Ravens loss to clinch the NFC North. They went up against the Kansas City Chiefs while the Ravens played the Los Angeles Rams. When Cincinnati most needed their young stars, they certainly showed up. After a last-minute touchdown by the LA Rams, the Ravens lost, leaving the door open for Cincy to clinch.

Cincy did just that, relying largely on their tandem of LSU stars and former teammates of Justin Jefferson. Specifically, Ja’Marr Chase had a historically incredible outing. He was already on pace for one of the most impressive rookie receiver seasons in NFL history. Going into the game, Chase had amassed 68 receptions, 1173 yards, and 10 touchdowns. His Week 17 total against the Chiefs was 11 catches on 12 targets, 266 yards, and three touchdowns.

Yes, for those math wizards, this means that Chase has officially surpassed Justin Jefferson’s NFL rookie receiving record of 1400 yards. Chase’s total after 16 games now sits at 1429 yards, a new record.

However, a former Viking still holds one last record that Chase is still chasing (heh heh) and is unlikely to surpass, even with a 17th game. As you may recall, Randy Moss’ 17 receiving touchdowns in 1998 is still the record for most rookie TDs. Chase sits at 13 heading into the final week of the season against the Cleveland Browns. Jefferson had seven touchdowns in 2020.

Speaking of records, Justin Jefferson is still in a bit of a record chase of his own. Among second-year receivers, Jefferson currently sits 8th all-time, per StatMuse. Here is the list of players ahead of him heading into Sunday night:

  1. Issac Bruce (Rams)- 1781 yards
  2. Charley Hennigan (Oilers)- 1746 yards
  3. Josh Gordon (Browns)-1646 yards
  4. Torry Holt (Rams)- 1635 yards
  5. Jerry Rice (49ers)- 1570 yards
  6. Victor Cruz (Giants)- 1536 yards
  7. Elroy Hirsch (Rams)- 1495 yards
  8. Justin Jefferson (Vikings)- 1451 yards
  9. Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants)- 1450 yards

Even if you don’t believe the Vikings can make the playoffs this year, tune in to watch this chase. There are some historcially great names on this list, and Jefferson is in reach of many, including the likes of Jerry Rice, Victor Cruz, and Torry Holt.