NFL Football Sports

Are we in a golden age of NFL wide receivers?

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Justin Jefferson played one of the greatest regular season games by a wide receiver in the NFL to propel the Minnesota Vikings to a crucial victory over the Buffalo Bills. The 23-year-old notched 10 receptions for 193 yards and one touchdown, producing one incredible catch on fourth down and 18 to keep the Vikings’ hopes of victory alive.

Jefferson’s performance could well have turned the balance of power in both conferences in the NFL, strengthening the Vikings’ claim for the top seed in the NFC and weakening the Bills’ surge in the AFC. On the back of Jefferson’s heroics, Minnesota have now turned themselves into one of the leading contenders in the NFL odds to win the Super Bowl, which would end their drought without the crown.

Jefferson bailed out Kirk Cousins on a number of occasions in the contest, highlighting a common theme across the NFL in the 2022 season – great receivers have lifted up the play of their quarterbacks. This raises the question of whether we are in a golden age of wide receivers? Here are just a few examples of how excellence in the position is helping the teams push towards the Super Bowl.

Justin Jefferson

Jefferson is the prime example. His play has enabled the Vikings to compete for the top seed in the NFC Conference. He put the team on his back and saved them from certain defeat against the Bills with his incredible catch, which is arguably one of the greatest seen in the regular season. After 10 games, Jefferson had recorded, 1,063 yards and four touchdowns.

He is not a behemoth in the endzone like Randy Moss was at the peak of his powers, but time and again he bails out Cousins with his brilliance at finding openings and rarely dropping the ball. Cousins has been a solid quarterback in the NFL, but make no mistake about it, without Jefferson he would not be performing to the level that he currently operates and the Vikings would not be in contention for a push towards the Super Bowl.

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle

The Dolphins were bold to make a trade to take Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs, giving up a slew of picks in the process, including their first selection in the 2022 Draft to acquire the All-Pro. On the evidence of the first half of the 2022 campaign, it was a great move for Miami.

Hill has brought out the best in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, allowing the Dolphins to compete in the AFC East and even dream about the possibility of a charge towards the Super Bowl. Hill has eased the pressure on Tagovailoa with his ability after the catch. Support has been there from Waddle on the other side of the field, who is on the rise to joining Hill as one of the best receivers in the league.

The duo are a nightmare for opposing defenses, and have taken a quarterback who appeared to be struggling in the NFL to the precipice of a MVP run. Tagovailoa was impressive at Alabama before being drafted by Miami, but there were fears that he could wash out of the league due to his problems working the ball downfield.

Hill and Waddle have alleviated the pressure with their speed and evasiveness. Without the sublime duo, the Dolphins would be nowhere near as close to contention as they were before their arrivals.

AJ Brown

The Philadelphia Eagles traded their first-round pick in the 2022 Draft and a fourth-round selection to acquire Brown from the Tennessee Titans. Brown has fitted in perfectly at the Eagles, providing the number one target in the redzone downfield for Jalen Hurts. Hurts is a renowned passer of the ball, and is more known for his running ability. However, the presence of Brown has allowed him to develop his throwing skills, connecting six times in the endzone.

The Eagles have been in better rhythm on offense with Brown in the side. He offers a different skill set to the speed of Devonta Smith on the other flank. Between Brown and Smith, Hurts cannot go wrong throwing to his wideouts. This has resulted in a drive to the top of the NFC East and the conference as a whole. If the Eagles go all the way to the Super Bowl, then Brown’s move will have played a huge role in their success.


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 3.7 / 5. Vote count: 3

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.