After drawing comparisons to Vikings WR Justin Jefferson, the Jets' rookie wideout Garrett Wilson, playing opposite the All-Pro receiver, went for a career-high 162 yards. He became the first Jets rookie with three 100-yard receiving games in a season, surpassing Al Toon (1985).
"He's impressive," head coach Robert Saleh said. "I don't think it's a secret, he's dynamic and he's special."
The Ohio State product had 8 receptions for the third time this season, tying a career high and had 5 catches of at least 15 yards.
Fourteen seconds into the fourth quarter, QB Mike White hit Wilson in the middle of the field for a 60-yard completion that took the Jets to the Vikings 11-yard-line. Wilson broke a tackle and raced 47 yards after the catch before stepping a half-foot out of bounds – Wilson's longest play of the season.
According to Next Gen Stats, Wilson was expected to gain 5 yards after the catch. His 169 receiving yards over expected this season leads all rookies and ranks No. 11 in the NFL.
"Initially, the first window wasn't there, and he just kept running," White said. "And he just kept running and trusted me and I trusted him, and I threw it in that second window, and he made an unbelievable play that Garrett seems to do a couple of times a game now."
Saleh added: "Wish he could have kept his foot inbounds on that one, but man, he's amazing. That was amazing that even got to that with the way he broke tackles."
After a slow first quarter being held without a catch, Wilson had 6 receptions for 84 yards combined in the second and third quarters. Before the half, he dropped to the turf and dragged his feet along the sideline for a 23-yard pick up that led to a franchise-record 60-yard field goal by K Greg Zuerlein ,to cut the lead to 20-6.
"I couldn't lose myself because I missed out on a few balls," Wilson said. "I can't let that affect the rest of the game. My teammates rely on me. My family relies on me."
The Jets 'offense struggled in the red zone scoring a touchdown on 1-of-6 opportunities. Wilson totaled 78 yards in the fourth quarter and put the Jets in goal-to-go territory, drawing a pass interference that put them at the Minnesota 4 yard-line. Four plays later, he helped push White across the goal line on a fourth-down QB sneak for the Green & White's lone touchdown.
"Garrett cares and he is a fighter," White said. "I mean he might not have gotten the ball early, but he never complained. He just kept running routes and it came to him."
Wilson now has 790 yards receiving this season – 54 short of Keyshawn Johnson's franchise rookie record of 844 set in 1996.
Wilson said earlier this week that he's modeled some of his game after Jefferson, who was held to 7 receptions, 45 yards and a touchdown on Sunday after averaging 112 yards per game this season.
"We chopped it up," Wilson said about his interaction with Jefferson postgame. "He said I was fun to watch. I told him he was fun to watch. Seeing a young dude like that be as productive and great as he is and seeing as to how his team responds and relies on him, it was cool to see."