If it seemed like Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson was pressing, or trying to do too much to keep his team in the game on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, at the very least the All-Pro took ownership of his mistake after the game.
In a pivotal moment, with :41 remaining in the first half, Jefferson attempted to stretch the ball over the goal line for a touchdown that would have put the Vikings ahead 14-10 just before halftime.
Instead, Jefferson wound up fumbling the ball out of bounds for an Eagles' touchback. Compounding matters, Eagles kicker Jake Elliott split the uprights with plenty of leg to spare on a 61-yard field goal as time expired, meaning Jefferson's fumble was in effect a 10-point swing.
What a win probability game swing following Jefferson?s fumble. #skol
— Ryan Fowler (@FulltimeFowler) September 15, 2023
After the game, Jefferson didn't make any excuses.
"I'm putting it a lot on myself," Jefferson said, (first transcribed by ProFootballTalk). "Fumbling in the end zone like that when we need points and we're driving and having that momentum. I was telling my teammates that's on me and it won't happen again."
Jefferson's fumble takes some of the luster off what was a solid performance, catching 11 passes for a game-high 159 yards.
Through the first two games of the season, Jefferson has 20 catches for 3o9 yards, but has yet to reach the end zone, one season removed from pulling down eight touchdown receptions.
Things won't get much easier for the Vikings, from here. Over the next six week, the Vikings have upcoming games against the Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas city Chiefs, the division rival Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, as well as the explosive San Francisco 49ers, before Halloween.
Thursday night's loss puts the Vikings behind the eight-ball, when it comes to making the postseason, given that only 13 of 125 teams that started 0-2 since 2007 ultimately wound up making the playoffs. For Minnesota, the situation is now more dire, because both losses have come to conference opponents; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Eagles.
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