The Washington Commanders will have their hands full against two top-tier receivers in the league this week in Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. But more importantly, these are two of the better receivers in the NFL when especially aligned in the slot. While Jefferson aligns out wide for roughly 70 percent of his snaps, and Thielen aligns out wide for roughly 61 percent of his snaps, Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell knows how to move his players around effectively.
"For Kevin O'Connell, it's all about how do we get our best players in the best matchups possible. I think that's true on both the offensive and defensive sides. For Jefferson, all season long, it's been "how do we use positional groupings," "how do we use motion," and "how do we use our alignments" to figure out the best way to get Jefferson the ball. He doesn't run the most complicated route tree, it's a lot of the same stuff that McVay [Sean] was doing last year, but he'll run it sometimes from the slot, sometimes he'll be out wide, sometimes he'll come out in empty and motion Jefferson into the backfield where he'll run some of those choice routes with him instead of the running back. It's all about which matchups we like, how we will attack this guy, and how we will get him set up in the best way possible." - Nick Olson on how Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell utilizes Justin Jefferson throughout a game.
Jefferson has 52 receptions this year for 752 yards (14.5 YPR) and one touchdown. From Slot/Tight alignments this year, Jefferson has 21 receptions on 23 targets for 318 yards (15.1 YPR) and one touchdown.
Listen to the latest Hogs Haven Podcast, where I preview the Commanders week nine matchup with three keys to beating the Minnesota Vikings. Nick Olson of SB Nation's Daily Norseman joined me to give the scouting report on the 2022 Minnesota Vikings.
Subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t, and be sure to leave an Apple or Spotify rating.
Does Washington make it four straight this Sunday?