5 reasons why the Vikings could exceed expectations in 2020

(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /

Jefferson is ready to go on day one

One thing that will surely need to happen if the Vikings are going to be better than people think in 2020, is Justin Jefferson’s readiness. If this kid is ready to contribute from day one, it will have a positive trickle-down effect on not just the offense, but the entire team.

Minnesota needs Jefferson to come in and be the player he was last year at LSU. A season ago, he had a historically productive campaign with 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Jefferson likely won’t put up similar numbers as a rookie in 2020. But if he can at least prove to opposing defenses that he can be a consistent threat, then they’ll have to respect him and not stack the box to stop the run.

If Jefferson isn’t able to get open or make big plays early, teams will focus on shutting down the Vikings’ rushing attack. Dalvin Cook will see stacked boxes and plenty of run blitzes come his way. In addition, Adam Thielen could also see more double-teams and his production could dip.

Jefferson has to be a threat early in his career and if he is, Minnesota will benefit in the win column. If he can even post a moderate stat line of about 50 receptions for 600 yards and five touchdowns, then that should be enough to keep defenses honest and keep the double-teams away from Thielen.