If Stefon Diggs can reach that milestone, it will end six seasons of receiving futility for the Vikings—the longest stretch for the team since the NFL expanded the season to 16 games.If the Minnesota Vikings are to make the playoffs two things need to happen: One, the defense will need to regain the form they opened the season, going 5-0, and, two, the offense needs to open things up and actually score more than one touchdown per game.
Following the Jacksonville game, Diggs leads the Vikings with 861 receiving yards. He needs to average only 46.3 yards per game in the final three games to reach 1,000 for the season. When he's played this season, he's averaged just slightly more than 78 yards.
So, even if he misses one game, Diggs is primed to break the drought.
It's even possible the Vikings' offense could do something that has not occurred in 16 seasons—have two receivers break 1,000 yards in the same year. The last time that happened was 2000 when Randy Moss (1,437) and Cris Carter (1,274) accomplished the feat.
Adam Thielen, an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota State-Mankato, is currently second on the team with 758 yards after getting his second 100-yard receiving game of the season against the Jaguars. It's a stretch that Thielen can reach 1,000 yards, but not insurmountable.
Thielen leads the team with a 13.5 yard per catch average—dismissing Laquon Treadwell's 15.0-yard average for one catch. If the offense is to open things up, it's not going to come by running the ball, and Thielen has consistently demonstrated that he is a clutch downfield receiver. He would need to average 80.6 yards per game in the final three games to reach 1,000 yards.
That would be a little more than 22 yards more per game than he has averaged this season (58.3 yards/game)—something certainly attainable.
If Diggs and Thielen can pull this off, it might just bode well for the Vikings to make the postseason.
Here's some history on Vikings receivers with 1,000-yard seasons:
- There have been a total of 28 players to reach 1,000 receiving yards for the Vikings.
- Wide receiver John Gilliam is the only player to achieve this in a 14-game season. He had 1,035 yards in 1972.
- Tight end Joe Sensor is the only non-wide receiver to exceed 1,000 yards with 1,004 in 1981.
- Cris Carter leads the Vikings with eight 1,000-yd seasons. Randy Moss has six, Jake Reed has four and Anthony Carter has three.
- For seven seasons, from 1994 until 2000, Vikings had two receivers with 1,000-yard seasons—Cris Carter was a part of all them.
- The next longest drought without a single player reaching 1,000 yards receiving since the season was extended to 16 games is five, between 1983 and 1987. This excludes the strike season of 1982.
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