Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson turned in the best catch of the 2022 NFL season ... for a few weeks. Jefferson may have met his match in Week 17, when Mike Williams of the Los Angeles Chargers turned in an excellent one-handed grab on the sideline that might be the best catch of the NFL season.
Williams' grab came with 1:26 left in the second quarter as the Chargers took on the Los Angeles Rams. With the Chargers driving down the field for a score before half time, Williams hauled in an incredible one-handed grab to bring the team closer to field-goal range.
Best catch so far in the year 2023 🔥 @darealmike_dub— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2023
📺: #LARvsLAC on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/bfMzApyEr4 pic.twitter.com/PraeXydfDA
Williams fully extended his arm, firmly secured the ball with his right hand and had the awareness to tap both feet in bounds before falling to the ground. It was, at the very least, good enough to enter the conversation for the best catch of the 2022 NFL season. The NFL's official Twitter account seemed to think Williams locked up that title, at least.
Was Mike Williams' catch really better than Justin Jefferson's catch?
But was it really better than Jefferson's grab?
In case you forgot what that looked like, allow us to refresh your memory. Back in Week 10, the Vikings trailed the Buffalo Bills by 4 points with under two minutes to play. On 4th-and-18, Kirk Cousins found Jefferson for a crucial first down to keep the Vikings' hopes alive. The pass was high, but Jefferson went up with one hand and somehow wrestled the ball away from the Bills defender while going to the ground.
JUSTIN JEFFERSON ASDGJSKDNFGKSDF;K— NFL (@NFL) November 13, 2022
📺: #MINvsBUF on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/uRjde5F169 pic.twitter.com/sxiLVx0NCi
The Vikings went on to win the game thanks to Jefferson's heroics. He put up a ridiculous 10 catches, 197 yards and a score in the Vikings' 33-30 win. That performance resulted in Jefferson winning the NFC offensive player of the week award, and getting some of his gear sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jefferson's catch came at a much bigger moment in the game, and deserves extra credit for that. He also had a defender draped all of him, upping the level of difficulty and concentration on the play.
Williams' grab wasn't as clutch, but he had to tip-toe the sideline. He didn't have to contend with a defender to make the catch, but that made it more aesthetically pleasing. You can see all of Williams' movements clearly. He made an extremely difficult catch look easy by smoothly grabbed the ball and getting his feet in bounds in one motion. It highlighted the unreal level of athleticism NFL players possess.
Ultimately, none of this matters. There's no award for "best catch of the NFL season." But it creates a fun debate. Do you prefer Jefferson's catch because it was clutch? Or do you love the fluid motion Williams displayed when he hauled in his grab?
There's no wrong answer here, just two awesome catches.