Vikings WR rejects idea of Packers winning split
Almost out of nowhere, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver KJ Osborn went from being a non-factor on offense in his rookie season to the team’s undisputed WR3 in 2021.
Osborn’s rise from the depths of the Vikings was as unexpected as it was impressive. He fumbled a key punt in 2020, leaving Vikings fans with little hope the Miami alum will emerge in his sophomore season. But the people were wrong.
Immediately in 2021, it was apparent that Osborn just needed targets in the Vikings offense that weren’t provided in 2020. He ended up grabbing 50 receptions for 655 yards and seven touchdowns. Production was best by an unnamed Vikings wide receiver Jefferson, ThielenWhere Diggs in years.
Now Osborn is intent on winning the NFC North – and a Super Bowl.
Osborn was a guest of The Zach Gelb Show Going through CBS Sports Radioand Gelb asked Osborn “what would he say to a guy like him” who thinks the Green Bay Packers will win the NFC North again.
The Vikings pass receiver quickly replied, “Get your popcorn ready.”
While Osborn did not guarantee his team command of the division, he continued, “I feel – I’ve said this before in interviews – that the goal of every NFL team should be to win the Super Bowl. I mean, I feel like that’s the only thing we train for. You work so hard. You sacrifice so much, and each team should only have one goal.
You can listen to the full interview here:
Minnesota ran 69% of offensive plays with three wide receivers in the field last season, the seventh least in the NFL. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Rams, the former employer of the new Vikings head coach, had three wides on the field 94% of the time – the most in the NFL. In this regard, Osborn should see an increase in targets.
Osborn will also have to navigate his third season as tight end Irv Smith Jr. returns. The fourth-year TE missed all of 2021 with a torn meniscus, giving Osborn a bit of a targets perspective. Osborn got more work because Smith Jr. was out, mostly because the Mike Zimmer version of the Vikings didn’t like three-WR sets.
And as the Vikings attempt to steal the division for the Packers, a team that has won the NFC North three times in a row, Green Bay must adjust to life without Davante Adams. The Packers wide receiver was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in March for draft picks that would become linebacker Quay Walker and wide receiver Christian Watson.
Osborn will have a first chance to dethrone the Packers as Minnesota host Green Bay in Week 1 at US Bank Stadium. The Packers are favored by two points.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).