The last time the Vikings visited Lambeau Field, their receivers seemed invisible, held without a catch for the first 57 minutes while finishing with a grand total of three grabs for 38 yards.
In the rematch with Green Bay last weekend, the production spiked significantly. Not only did Jarius Wright, Michael Jenkins and Jerome Simpson combine for nine catches for 166 yards but five of those connections either converted third downs or went for touchdowns.
Another -- by Jenkins in the first quarter – produced a 9-yard gain on third-and-10, allowing the Vikings to then convert a fourth-and-1 opportunity.
Jenkins has been making a habit of supplying clutch grabs during the Vikings’ four-game winning streak. Since leaving Lambeau, Jenkins has an ordinary stat line of 10 receptions for 145 yards. But nine of those grabs have come on third down (for 118 yards) -- with eight of those producing first downs.
That’s why receivers coach George Stewart continues to speak highly of a reliable veteran whom he has nicknamed “The Professor.”
“He knows this offense inside and out,” Stewart said. “Our young players can go to him with any question they have. I always go back to his professionalism. That sucker is a pro.”
Stewart raved most about the 3-yard TD catch Jenkins made last weekend in a scramble drill with the veteran receiver spinning back toward the left sideline and then outmuscling Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings for the score.
“Michael had to come back and be friendly to the quarterback to beat that safety back to the ball,” Stewart said. “Christian threw that pass on faith. Because he knew Michael Jenkins would work his way back to that football.”