Anything short of a championship this postseason will be a disappointment for Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson.
Ahead of the team's NFC Wild Card Round matchup with the New York Giants, he made it clear he has his eyes firmly on a Super Bowl ring:
That has broadly applied to the Vikings ever since they signed Kirk Cousins in 2018. They were coming off an appearance in the NFC title game and clearly thought they were just a quarterback away.
Five seasons later, Minnesota is still waiting and could be in the same position once the 2023 playoffs conclude.
At 13-4, the Vikings won the NFC North by four games and tied the San Francisco 49ers for the second-best record in the conference. Despite that impressive record, plenty are questioning their credentials.
The franchise is +3500 at DraftKings Sportsbook to win Super Bowl LVII. Those are the ninth-best odds in the field and worse than the eight-win Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2800).
The skepticism is justified when you consider Kevin O'Connell's squad had a negative point differential (minus-three) in the regular season and ranked 27th in overall efficiency at Football Outsiders.
Cousins' performance did little to dispel the perception around his game as well. He threw for 4,547 yards, 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and his 49.8 QBR was 23rd among qualified QBs.
Were the Vikings to actually reach the Super Bowl, how good would you feel about their chances in a quarterback duel between Cousins and Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen or Joe Burrow?
At this stage, everybody who's still playing is looking to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and everyone who doesn't will be left discouraged. Jefferson obviously isn't alone in his sentiment.
But his bar for success might be a little too high.