With players like Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs putting up huge numbers, don’t forget about Detroit Lakes native Adam Thielen when discussing the Minnesota Vikings early offensive success
Don’t get me wrong, Dalvin Cook has been a phenomenal running back so far and Stefon Diggs has been a star with four TDs in three games. In addition, Sam Bradford and Case Keenum have both had monster games and the offensive line has shown major improvements from last year. However, one player that deserves more credit for the Minnesota Vikings offensive performance is Adam Thielen.
Coming out of Minnesota State University, Mankato, the odds were ridiculously low for Thielen to make an NFL roster, but he kept working at it. He turned a tryout into a practice squad spot. From there, he made the roster and became a key contributor on special teams.
After two years mostly spent on special teams, Thielen finally broke through the regular rotation, totaling 967 yards on 69 receptions. According to TeamRankings.com, Thielen caught 75% of his passes thrown his way, tied for 5th among WRs. In another post by TeamRankings.com, Thielen ranked 2nd in the NFL in receiving plus-minus, which predicts how many catches a receiver caught compared to what an average receiver would have caught.
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To start this year, he is looking to make an even bigger impact. With the help of his magical yellow gloves and good QB play, Thielen has 19 catches for 299 yards, good for 2nd in the NFL and leading the Vikings. He is also catching 79.2% of his passes this year while getting 15.7 yards per catch. With numbers like these, his new contract extension is starting to look like a bargain. Along with Diggs’ huge numbers, Diggs and Thielen have formed one of the top receiving duos in all of football.
With Laquon Treadwell providing little hope of one day becoming a starting caliber receiver, Thielen’s success has been crucial to the offense’s play so far. The Vikings are currently 2nd in the NFL in net yards per game, according to ESPN. It’s hard to see that being possible without the emergence of Thielen.
Cook and Diggs both look the part of stars, but with great hands and his ability to stay healthy, Thielen has provided much needed consistency. You can point your fingers to many different factors for the early success of the Vikings offense, but don’t you dare forget about Minnesota’s own Adam Thielen.