There is a presentation to the team every week and even though Justin Jefferson really needs no introduction to anyone remotely familiar with young NFL stardom, the man who gets paid to run the Giants’ defense put in perspective the next challenge for his unit. 

“I told the defense, I said, ‘He’s one of the top two receivers in this league and he’s not number two,’ ” Martindale said on Wednesday. 

If Jefferson is in the top two and he’s not number two, that means he is … at the top. The best. 

“He’s had a phenomenal year, their whole offense has,” Martindale said. “It’s one of those things, if they throw him the ball, he can be in double or triple coverage and he still catches it. It’s fun for the fans to watch, it’s not very fun for the defensive coordinator to see.” 

Unfortunately for Martindale, how much fun he experiences is not factored into this matchup. The Giants (8-5-1) ended a four-game winless streak with their must-have 20-12 victory over the Commanders at FedEx Field — putting them in prime position to qualify for the playoffs in the NFC. In that game, they did a credible job against Terry McLaurin, Washington’s top pass-catching threat, limiting him to six receptions for 70 yards. The Giants did not do as good a job on rookie Jahan Dotson (4-105, one touchdown).

Justin Jefferson has seven receiving touchdowns for the Vikings this season.
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Kirk Cousins threw for 460 yards in the Vikings' comeback win over the Colts.
Kirk Cousins threw for 460 yards in the Vikings’ comeback win over the Colts.
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What comes next is a different challenge. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is coming off a game in which he passed for 417 yards and four touchdowns — after halftime. Cousins led the Vikings out of a 33-0 hole at halftime and into the largest comeback victory in league history, stunning the Colts 39-36 in overtime. Cousins finished with 460 passing yards. 

Jefferson hauled in 12 passes for 123 yards and one touchdown. Cousins did not discriminate. K.J. Osborn had 10 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown, and Adam Thielen also caught a touchdown pass. 

There is one ringleader, though, and it is Jefferson.

“He’s everything,” rookie cornerback Cor’Dale Flott told The Post. “He’s got the whole package, the complete package. It’s clear in this league right now. I look forward to playing against him. It’s gonna be exciting.” 

Flott knows what he is talking about. He was a teammate of Jefferson’s at LSU in 2019 — Flott’s first year in college and Jefferson’s final year. Flott got an eyewitness account of what Jefferson can do on the field — 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns, teaming with quarterback Joe Burrow to help the Tigers to the national championship. Jefferson was the No. 22 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

“There’s so many things I could sit here and point out he does well,” Flott said. “It’s kind of tough pointing one or two things out.” 

In an age where wide receivers dominate the sport like never before, Jefferson rises higher than anyone else. His 307 receptions are the second-most in NFL history in the first three seasons of a player’s career — only the Saints’ Michael Thomas (321) has more. 

Giants fans can recall how productive Odell Beckham Jr. was early in his NFL career — his 19 100-yard receiving games is tied with Randy Moss for the second-most all time for a player in his first three years. Jefferson tops the list at 23 games. Jefferson’s 4,639 receiving yards are the most for any player in his first three seasons. 

It comes as no surprise that Jefferson this season leads the NFL in catches (111) and receiving yards (1,623) to go along with seven touchdowns.

Fabian Moreau
Fabian Moreau
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Nick McCloud
Nick McCloud (44) reacts during the fourth quarter of the Giants’ win over the Commanders last week.
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“Yeah, he’s at the top right now,” safety Julian Love said. “Watching him on tape, he’s doing special things. You got to know where he is every single snap because he’s a guy who can beat you. We can’t let him beat us alone.” 

Flott has played 30 percent of the snaps on defense the past three games, working behind starters Fabian Moreau and Nick McCloud and nickel corner Darnay Holmes. The Giants will again be without their No. 1 cornerback, Adoree’ Jackson, who remains out with a sprained knee. It is a cobbled-together cornerback group that needs to be sharp in every aspect to compete with an elite wide receiver corps. 

Thanks largely to Cousins and especially Jefferson, the Vikings (11-3) are the No. 7 passing team in the league, directed by first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell, who also calls the plays on offense. O’Connell, 37, is a new kid on the block. Martindale, 59, is not. 

“You can go this way with it too, you can put your second-best corner on him and always have a safety over the top, which a lot of people do,” Martindale said. “You got to keep the gumballs spinning. Kevin does a great job calling the offense. I said it’s unfair, I’m the blue-collar guy going against Harry Styles.”