WR Adam Thielen - Minnesota Vikings
|6-3, 200||Born: 8-22-1990||College: Minnesota State||Drafted: ---|
2018 Week 1 vs SF (12 / 6 / 102 / 0 rec)
Thielen looked to continue his breakout season from a year ago, just like Diggs, and benefitted from the 49ers paying more attention to Diggs. Cousins targeted Thielen a team high 12 times, but he only managed to bring in half of those targets. Thielen, normally a sure handed receiver, did drop two of the balls and could have had an even bigger day. He was targeted out of the slot again and ran his normal short crossing routes to try and get open. His big gainer came on a 34-yard busted coverage play. Kirk Cousins stared him down the entire play, yet Thielen managed to be standing all alone down the left side line. There was no defender within 10-yards of him and he sprinted down the sideline before being pushed out of bounds by the safety. The only real knock against Thielen is the lack of touchdowns, but if he continues to get 12 targets a game there is a much higher chance of him finding the end zone more this season.
2018 Week 2 vs GB (13 / 12 / 131 / 1 rec)
The breakout season from a year ago continues as Thielen racks up the catches. He snared 12 of his 13 targets and the most important touchdown of the day. His 131 yards lead the team this week despite the slow start to the game. Almost all of his damage continues to come across the middle or on out routes towards the sideline in the zone void left by the corner and safety. Thielen's hands are only second to Diggs on the team and Cousins has found a very reliable third down option. His biggest play came on his 22-yard touchdown catch. Thielen had worked his way down the sideline and had a step on his corner in coverage. Cousins floated the ball just above the corner but still put enough on it that the diving safety could not make a play. The ball went right between the two defenders and Thielen was able to pin the ball against his chest as he fell backwards into the end zone right at the pylon. This would have never happened had it not been for a questionable roughing the passer call that overturned a game sealing interception, but the Vikings made the best of what they were given.
2018 Week 3 vs BUF (19 / 14 / 105 / 0 rec)
The Bills defense did a great job shutting down Diggs and were happy to leave Thielen open underneath all game long. They were not worried about him breaking a big play for a touchdown and allowed him to run free at the linebacker level. Thielen pulled in 14 of his 19 targets and only had a single play over 15 yards. He broke one deep out route for 19 yards but was pushed out of bounds before he could do any extra damage. The defense was content doubling Diggs on the outside and would give Thielen the short underneath routes. He managed over 100-yards receiving, but that was mostly due to the volume of targets and not big plays. Thielen has lived up to the hype of last season but still cannot seem to find the end zone. If he can ever start to capitalize on teams giving help over the top to Diggs, then he will be really dangerous the rest of the season.
2018 Week 4 vs LAR (12 / 8 / 135 / 1 rec)
It was a game of big plays and Thielen was the main Viking making them. He led the team in receiving and hauled in a long touchdown to get the score within 3. Thielen came down with 8 of his 12 targets and was the top option on third down. He helped to complete 3 long 3rd down plays and missed an opportunity for a 4th when he was pulled from the field under concussion protocol. He briefly went to the tent and then was seen on the sideline the next play. Thielen's biggest play came on a 45-yard touchdown pass right up the seam. Cousins looked off the safety by starring down Rudolph on the right side of the field. Meanwhile, Thielen snuck up the seam and Cousins hit him in stride for the long touchdown. This was another night full of quick outs and deep comeback routes down the sideline for Thielen. With no run game in sight, Thielen is going to continue to see 10+ targets a game.
2018 Week 5 vs PHI (10 / 7 / 116 / 1 rec)
Everything seems to be going right for Thielen this season. He is now the first receiver to ever open a season with 5 straight 100-yard games, moving past Randy Moss and Issac Bruce. More than half of his yards came on a single play where he somehow found himself all alone down the sideline and took the ball 68 yards before running out of gas and getting tackled. He cut back inside to run past the corner but in doing so allowed the safety to catch up and tackle him. He also had a 3-yard touchdown reception with the corner draped all over him. It was a beautiful fade route into the corner of the end zone where Cousins got the ball just over the defender and into the arms of Thielen. Defensive holding was called on the play and declined. There were a few misfires in the game that could have given Thielen an even better game. There was one crossing route in the second half that Cousins over threw Thielen with no defender in front of him. It would have gone for 20+ yards but was simply over thrown. Thielen caught 7 of his 10 targets and led the team in receiving again this week.
2018 Week 6 vs ARI (15 / 11 / 123 / 1 rec)
After setting a record with 5 straight games of 100 or more receiving yards to open a season last week, Thielen extended it this week against the Cardinals. The talk all week long was about who Patrick Peterson was going to cover and if the opposite receiver would be able to step up and make plays. Peterson shadowed Diggs for the majority of the game and that left Thielen to run free underneath. He used the Cardinals own defenders to set picks for him on crossing routes and made hard cuts towards the sidelines on out routes. His longest play of the day was only 17 yards, but he managed to snare 11 of his team high 15 targets. He never really broke free on any long catch and run plays like he has in the past, but he did find the end zone for the third straight week. Cousins found Thielen across the middle for 13 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter. The Vikings lined up in an empty set on 3rd and 1 and Thielen squeezed his way up the seam for the touchdown. He ended up with a linebacker in coverage and that is a battle he will almost always win. It has been a great run thus far for Thielen and he will look to continue it next week against the Jets.
2018 Week 7 vs NYJ (10 / 9 / 110 / 1 rec)
The records continue to fall with each passing week for Thielen. He is the first player in the Super Bowl era to start a season with 7 straight 100 yards receiving. He also set a personal best 3 straight games with a touchdown reception. He has now tied his entire total of touchdowns from last season and it is only week 7. Thielen kicked things off with a 34-yard reception deep down the right side line. The play was very similar to his touchdown from last week and was replicated by Aldrick Robinson later in the game. Thielen hauled in 9 of his 10 targets and was well on his way to over 100 yards, even before half time. Thielen is still finding success on deep out routes and slow drags across the middle. He has built a rapport with Cousins and works his way back to the ball when his quarterback is in trouble. The matchup with the Saints next week should provide ample opportunity for an 8th straight 100-yard receiving game.
2018 Week 8 vs NO (7 / 7 / 103 / 1 rec, 1 / 15 / 0 rush)
It has been a whirlwind season for Thielen so far. The 100-yard game tracker has been going since early in the year and he registered his 8th straight game this week. This ties him with Calvin Johnson for the most in any season, after he broke the record for most such games to open a season. A lot of the success can be contributed to Thielen and Diggs switching positions this season. Diggs is getting his chance outside as the number 1 receiver, and Thielen is getting a chance to run underneath and create plays out of the slot. The only bad thing Thielen did this week was fumble and kill a drive deep in Saints territory. He was sandwiched between 2 defenders and the ball popped loose and was returned for a big gain by the Saints. Aside from that, it was another solid game for Thielen. He also got his first carry of the season and took the jet sweep 15 yards off the right tackle. His touchdown was an easy 1-yard pitch and catch with Cousins. Thielen took a hard step to the outside and then beat his man back to the inside. The linebackers had cleared out trying to stop the run and Thielen was all alone in the end zone. The fumble proved costly this week, but Thielen has dominated in every other aspect of the game.
2018 Week 9 vs DET (7 / 4 / 22 / 1 rec, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
All good things must come to an end and this week it was Thielen's consecutive 100-yard receiving games. The Lions did a great job doubling Thielen and taking him away as an outlet for Cousins. Thielen had the most targets on the team but could not do anything with them. He was the target of the pass that was intercepted, and it came on a play that has worked for the Vikings all season long. The deep out route was read perfectly and Darius Slay got one of the easiest interceptions of his career. Thielen did add a touchdown for the 6th straight game this week from 2 yards out. The bunch formation confused the defense and Thielen snuck up the seam for the easy touchdown. Cousins hit him in stride in the back of the end zone. Thiele will face another tough test against the Bears top ranked defense but should benefit from the return of Stefon Diggs. Thielen has made his living from the slot this year and has struggled playing on the outside.
2018 Week 11 vs CHI (12 / 7 / 66 / 0 rec)
After finally losing the streak of consecutive games with 100 yards receiving, Thielen looked to get back on track this week. He had a healthy Diggs across from him and was able to slide back into the slot position. This is the recipe that has worked for the Vikings all season, but teams seemed to have figured that out. The Bears keyed in on Thielen this week, and that left Diggs to do the damage on the outside. Thielen caught 7 of his 12 targets, but was held under 100 yards and out of the end zone this week. His longest play of the game was a 13-yard catch and run across the middle. It has been near impossible for teams to take away both Thielen and Diggs, and this week it was just Diggs turn to get the ball and success on the outside. Thielen will face a Packers defense that he torched for 12 catches, 131 yards, and a touchdown in week 2 next week. Look for him to get back on track next week.
2018 Week 12 vs GB (9 / 8 / 125 / 1 rec)
It was a slow start for Thielen, but everything eventually went his way by the end of the game. He had already burned the Packers for 130+ yards and a touchdown when they played earlier this season and ended the game with a very similar line this week. Thielen kicked things off with a 33-yard catch in traffic as he was falling to the ground. This was the longest play through the air for the Vikings and a great way to get things started. It was not a graceful start after Thielen collided with Diggs on the first drive and caused a massive loss on a short play, but he just kept running his routes and chipping away. Thielen ran quick outs and shallow crosses to do most of his damage and then scored his touchdown on a scramble play. Cousins was flushed from the pocket and took off towards the line like he was going to run for the first down. He then found Thielen who had settled into the void behind the linebackers for an easy first down. However, Thielen would not be denied and dove across the goal line for the third Viking touchdown of the game. It was just the cherry atop another dominant game for Thielen.
2018 Week 13 vs NE (10 / 5 / 28 / 1 rec)
It was not a great showing for Thielen this week. He dropped balls he would normally catch, he took exception with the referees and the lack of pass interference calls, and then got into a shouting match with Bill Belichick on the sideline after a spot challenge. It was a very heated exchange and was caught on camera. The game was not great either as he only caught half of his 10 targets. Thielen and Cousins did not look to be on the same page this week after lighting up the NFL all season long. His longest catch was 9 yards. He dropped a much deeper pass down the middle of the field after a diving attempt, and then had a clear pass interference call not be made in the end zone that would have been a 20-yard touchdown. It was a misstep on what has been an amazing season for Thielen. He still had a touchdown catch this week. It was a 5-yard drag route where he outran his defender to the back corner of the end zone. It was an easy pitch and catch with Cousins for the score. Unfortunately, the rest of the game is going to overshadow the score and will be one to forget for Thielen.
2018 Week 14 vs SEA (7 / 5 / 70 / 0 rec, 1 / 8 / 0 rush)
It has been a tough stretch for Thielen since his magical 8 week run to start the season. Teams have found ways to take away his routes underneath and are disrupting his timing with Cousins. After the blowup on the sideline against the Patriots last week, Thielen was heard cussing about the play calling of the Vikings this week. He caught 5 of his 7 targets, but most of it came late in the game when the Seahawks had secured the lead. He had 1 big gain of 35 yards, which accounted for half of his total in the game. Thielen was targeted in goal to go situations twice but the errant pass from Cousins fell to the ground both times. It is going to take a lot more from both Thielen and Cousins to help turn the Vikings season around with 3 games to go. They need to find their rhythm from the first several weeks to ignite that offense.
2018 Week 15 vs MIA (2 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
After the spat with Belichick and then calling out the play calling in recent weeks, Thielen needed to have a big game to show that he was not all talk. Unfortunately, that did not happen this week and Thielen continues to struggle. He only saw 2 targets this week and caught both of them for less than 20 yards. This week, no receiver really stepped up and had a big game. Diggs and Robinson both had touchdown catches but did not reel off big yardage totals. The run game was working so well this week that Thielen was just not needed. Teams should not forget about what he did earlier in the year or they are going to get burned. Thielen is still a dangerous weapon in this offense and a lot is going to come down to the game plan put in by the new coordinator. The flow did not play to the strengths of Thielen, but that can easily change in the coming weeks. Look for a better showing and a more balanced attack next week against the Lions.
2018 Week 16 vs DET (6 / 5 / 80 / 0 rec, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)
The breakout season in the first 8 weeks of the season seems to be a distant past for Thielen. He has not served the same role in the offense in recent weeks and has seen a lot of production go to Diggs and this week to Rudolph. Defenses have schemed to take him away and it has worked. Thielen caught 5 of his 6 targets and had half of his yards come on a single play. Thielen cut to the inside and was sprung by a Diggs block. He sprinted right down the middle of the field. Thielen still had 80 yards through the air and that would be above average for just about anyone else in the league. However, Thielen dominated so much at the beginning of the season that anything less than 100 yards and a touchdown is a disappointment. The Vikings are going to need Thielen to step up next week against the Bears if they want to clinch their playoff spot.
2018 Week 17 vs CHI (4 / 3 / 38 / 0 rec, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
The blazing start to the season for Thielen seems to be only a distant memory at this point. The change at offensive coordinator did not do anything to help his usage and Cousins proved ineffective down the stretch. Thielen was succeeding due to the volume he was getting underneath earlier in the season, and that just has not been there in recent weeks. He had 4 targets this week while Diggs had 10. Thielen made a living on third down earlier in the year, yet they did not seem to draw up any of the same type of plays that were getting him open before. It has looked like a totally different offense in recent weeks and not for the better. Thielen's longest play was an 18-yard reception where he did most of the work running with the ball. This lone reception accounted for almost half of his yards. It is a disappointing end to a season where Thielen finished with 113 receptions for 1,373 yards and 9 touchdowns. Thielen and Cousins have since tried to downplay their argument on the sideline, but there has been a lot of frustration in Minnesota this week and there are some relationships that are going to need to be mended in the offseason.
2017 Week 1 vs NO (10 / 9 / 157 / 0 rec)
Thielen picked right back up where he left off to end last season with another big game tonight. The undrafted wide receiver was targeted more than any other Vikings player and complied more yards after the catch than anyone. Bradford was able to hit Thielen in stride several times tonight for big gains and no one on the Saints seemed to be able to cover him. Thielen has mastered using Kyle Rudolph to screen his defender and run free across the middle. Look for the Vikings to use Thielen more and more out of the slot to get into the redzone before deferring to Rudolph and others in goal to go situations.
2017 Week 2 vs PIT (6 / 5 / 44 / 0 rec)
The entire Minnesota offense had a tough day and Thielen was no exception. Thielen has been a budding star in Minnesota since the end of last season, but today was not one of his best games. Thielen's lone big play came when he beat Steeler's corner Joe Haden for a 24-yard gain to set up an eventual Viking's field goal. The most disappointing aspect of today came on his crucial fumble on the last drive of the game. Thielen tried to reach the ball for a first down on 4th and 7 and the ball came loose. This is a game the Thielen and the Vikings hope to soon forget.
2017 Week 3 vs TB (8 / 5 / 98 / 0 rec)
Just like Stefon Diggs, Thielen needed to prove that he could contribute after a poor performance last week. The Vikings offense got back to its shallow crossing routes with Thielen and the undrafted wide receiver fell just short of another 100-yard game. Thielen has become an expert at using other receivers to rub his defender and break free. Thielen has dangerous speed in the open field and can turn short pass plays into long gains. Thielen's big gain came on a 45-yard pass play where he simply beat the corner down the sideline. The safety was late getting over to cover and the ball placed perfectly over his outside shoulder. The only thing that prevented this play from being a touchdown was a diving tackle by the corner. Case Keenum missed a few easy shots to Thielen on overthrows but overall it was a very productive day for all of the Vikings' wide receivers.
2017 Week 4 vs DET (8 / 5 / 59 / 0 rec)
There is no one mistake that the Vikings can point to as to why they lost this game but Thielen's fumble on the final drive of the game was certainly a big one. The Viking's defense managed to get a stop to give the offense one more chance at a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, on the first play of that final drive, Thielen fumbled the ball after an 11-yard catch to end the game. Just like Stefon Diggs, Thielen was unable to break free of Detroit's coverage for big gains like he has previously this season. Teams are devoting more attention to Thielen and Diggs as the season wears on and it will be tough to find room to run. Thielen's lone big play came on a back-shoulder fade where the corner overran his coverage.
2017 Week 5 vs CHI (8 / 5 / 34 / 0 rec, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)
Thielen had a better game than Diggs but he still got lost in the wash of poor quarterback play in the first half and then lack of targets in the second half. The most exciting play for Thielen was an 11-yard end around that was the second longest rush on the day for the Vikings. Thielen also had a drop in the third quarter that would have resulted in a first down but he simply took his eyes off the ball and tried to turn upfield. Thielen and Diggs are an emerging wide receiver duo that benefits from the volume of targets in order to break their big plays. The Vikings had a nearly 50/50 split for rushing and passing plays (31 to 32 respectively). There are better days ahead for Thielen and the Vikings passing game but it will take a better effort from the quarterback to achieve it.
2017 Week 6 vs GB (13 / 9 / 97 / 0 rec)
Without Stefon Diggs, Thielen was the favorite target on the day with 13 targets and almost 100-yards receiving on the day. Thielen was used as a safety valve for Case Keenum as the Vikings never really tried to stretch the field. The only big play came on a 23-yard out route where the Packers had committed a linebacker to cover Thielen. The Packers did not bite on the play action at all but Thielen was able to outrun his man to the sideline for the reception. Thielen is also struggling with fumbling issues so far this season as he fumbled the ball out of bounds today. The young receiver is going up to make the catch no matter what and has not done a good job protecting the ball on the way down. Thielen's fumble at the end of the game against the Lions proved costly, but today the Vikings were still able to come out on top.
2017 Week 7 vs BAL (12 / 5 / 41 / 0 rec)
Thielen was the most targeted Viking today but an ineffective Keenum made it tough for any receiver to do much damage today. Thielen was on the receiving end of many errant passes that fell at his feet or sailed over his head. Thielen only managed to catch 5 of his 12 targets today and never broke one for a long gain. His biggest gain came on a 14-yard quick hit where Thielen was run out of bounds. The volume of targets was expected with Stefon Diggs ruled out again this week but the overall effectiveness was not with the poor play of Case Keenum.
2017 Week 8 vs CLE (10 / 5 / 98 / 1 rec)
Another week and another missed opportunity for Thielen to have a monster game. The chemistry between Thielen and Case Keenum has been lacking in recent weeks and is evidenced by missed routes and several poorly thrown balls. Thielen tied McKinnon for a team-leading 10 targets, but only managed to catch 5 of them. Keenum missed Thielen on a few crossing routes or simply lead him too far down the sideline. The QB WR duo did hook up for a touchdown in the second quarter to get the Vikings back in the game. Thielen ran an out route just short of the goal line while Keenum scrambled in the pocket and eventually rolled to his right. The defense treated him as a runner and sucked in to come and make a tackle. This gave Thielen a chance to sneak into the corner of the end zone all alone and make the easy catch for a touchdown. The corner left his coverage and the safety did not make it over in time to make a play. Despite the overthrows or poor reads in coverage, Thielen fell only 2 yards short of 100 for the game and still leads the Vikings in receiving yards for the season.
2017 Week 10 vs WAS (12 / 8 / 166 / 1 rec)
It looked like it was going to be the Stefon Diggs show early against the Redskins, but Keenum and Thielen found a rhythm from the second quarter on. Thielen lead the Vikings in targets, yards, and added an impressive touchdown grab and a 49-yard reception. The 49-yard reception came at the expense of Josh Norman and was entirely through the air. Thielen ran right up the seam and Keenum escaped the pass rush and rolled to his left. Had the ball been thrown a little further, Thielen could have avoided a diving Norman and taken the ball into the end zone. On the touchdown drive, Thielen accounted for 3 of the 6 plays and 62 total yards. The Vikings capitalized on the poor play of Bashaud Breeland and Thielen eventually found the end zone. Keenum had rolled to his right and found Thielen just over the goal line for the touchdown. The most impressive part was how Thielen wrestled the ball away from the defender after it was thrown just behind him. Thielen also added a 38-yard reception on this drive after beating Breeland in coverage. This was Thielen's second game with 150+ receiving yards, adding him to TY Hilton and Antonio Brown as the only receivers with more than one.
2017 Week 11 vs LAR (9 / 6 / 123 / 1 rec)
Thielen continues to show that he might be the breakout player of the year in the NFL. Once considered just a possession receiver, Thielen once again showed that he is much more than that as he averaged 20 yards per reception for the third straight game. A big part of this was Thielen taking a simple hitch route cutting to the inside to elude the first defender and then outran safety John Johnson who had an angle on Thielen.
2017 Week 12 vs DET (11 / 8 / 89 / 0 rec)
Thielen continues to be Case Keenum's favorite target and had double-digit targets again this week. It is almost surprising to see a game where he does not have 100 yards receiving anymore but the end zone continues to elude him. The Vikings have several elite options in the red zone and Thielen tends to get overlooked from time to time. This week was not about the long plays and catching and running either as his longest play of the day was 16 yards. Thielen has made a living off the crossing route and using Kyle Rudolph as a rub off for his defender. Thielen is still second in the league in terms of receiving yards and he put together another solid game on Thanksgiving. He also almost lucked into a touchdown after Jerick McKinnon fumbled on the 3-yard line and Thielen recovered the ball in the end zone but the call was overturned after review.
2017 Week 13 vs ATL (5 / 4 / 51 / 0 rec)
This was the worst game Thielen has put forth all season, and he still had 51 yards and averaged 12.8 yards per catch. Thielen has been a machine with his 100-yard games but faltered this week. The Falcons did a great job disguising their coverages and gave a lot of help over the top when covering Thielen. His biggest play did not come until the last drive of the game where the Vikings were just trying to run out the clock. On a 3rd and 4 play, Thielen caught a short pass and turned it up the field for 22 yards. Thielen has been great all season but was held in check this week against a revamped Falcons defense.
2017 Week 14 vs CAR (13 / 6 / 105 / 1 rec)
Here is another reoccurring theme of the season. Thielen lead the team in targets with 13, lead the team in receiving yards with 105, had the longest play of the game for the Vikings with his 52-yard reception, and chipped in a touchdown for good measure. Thielen has been a surprise story all season, but his day actually could have been so much better if Keenum had been more accurate. On the first drive of the game, Thielen had a step on his man and Keenum underthrew him for an interception. There were 6 other occasions where the ball was thrown behind Thielen or right into coverage making it impossible for Thielen to make a play. The big 52-yard reception was more a by-product of a great route and breakaway speed by Thielen more than anything Keenum did. Thielen ran a skinny post, made a leaping catch across the middle, and then simply outran both his man and the safety to the pylon and the end zone. This was the big play the Vikings needed to get back into the game but unfortunately was not enough in the end. Thielen still ranks in the top 5 for receiving yards in the league and has 2 more opportunities to build on his break out campaign.
2017 Week 15 vs CIN (5 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)
This was a rather quiet game for Thielen as the Bengals schemed to take him out of the Viking offense. Corners were placed on him and they played press coverage at the line to disrupt any timing he may have had with Keenum. Of his 30 yards, 21 of them came on a single catch and he was effectively shut out for the rest of the game. The 21-yard catch and run by Thielen got the Vikings to the Bengal 5-yard line and set up an eventual Latavius Murray touchdown run. With Thielen being shut down, the Viking offense showed tremendous balance and the ability to score and win without one of their top guys having a good game.
2017 Week 16 vs GB (6 / 2 / 24 / 0 rec)
Case Keenum just could not get on the same page as Thielen. The Packers were not in particularly great coverage, Keenum just missed on several throws and the Vikings has committed to the run. Thielen managed 21 of his 24 yards on 1 deep crossing route. This is the same route that he has been running all season and Keenum was able to hit him in stride. The QB/WR duo missed on 4 of their 6 targets this week, but with a dominant defensive performance, they were not needed. Thielen may not have been needed this week but he will have to continue his breakout season in the playoffs if the Vikings want to make a run.
2017 Week 17 vs CHI (7 / 6 / 61 / 0 rec)
Thielen has seemed to give way to Stefon Diggs in recent weeks and lost some of his targets. Diggs is finally healthy again and teams have been scheming to take Thielen away. There has been a lot more press coverage at the line and linebackers trying to knock Thielen off his crossing routes. Thielen only finished 4 yards behind Diggs this week and registered 1 more target. The biggest difference is Thielen does not get in the end zone. Thielen needs room to operate and seems to disappear within the red zone for the Vikings. His biggest catch of the day was a 16-yard out route for a first down. Thielen and Diggs have been a two-headed receiving monster for the Vikings and will be difficult for any team to cover in the playoffs.
2017 Week 19 vs NO (9 / 6 / 74 / 0 rec)
Thielen played an integral part in keeping Viking drives alive this week but was held out of the end zone once again. Keenum looked to Thielen several times but did not give him much room to run with his passes. Thielen made several leaping and diving catches to bail out Keenum and move the chains. The biggest play of the day was a 24-yard reception where Keenum threw the ball off his back foot and it sailed high towards Thielen and 2 defenders. A similar pass had been intercepted earlier in the game but Thielen was able to go up and bring this ball in for a Viking first down. Thielen was hobbled on a tackle out of bounds late in the first half and did not seem to have the same speed and ability to cut for the rest of the game. There was no official injury ruling and he should be good to go next week but it is something worth watching as the week progresses.
2016 Week 1 vs TEN (5 / 4 / 54 / 0 rec)
This week, Adam Thielen got work as the third wide receiver for the Vikings, and did a good job hauling in most of his targets. He was consistent with his hands and routes and did a nice job on one third down conversion late in the game.
2016 Week 2 vs GB (5 / 4 / 41 / 0 rec)
It seems like Thielen has at least equaled Charles Johnson's role in the offense as they were both on the field for virtually the same amount of snaps (Thielen = 38 vs Johnson = 40). Thielen got more targets again as well, catching four of the five thrown his way with the one miss coming on an overthrow. Thielen did a good job of running crisp routes and finding the seams in the defense so he could get open for Bradford.
2016 Week 3 vs CAR (4 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)
Thielen suffered through a tough game as he was overwhelmed both by the coverage from Carolina as well as the issues along the Vikings offensive line which hurt the offense so much in the first half. He never became actively involved in the offense, but did have one tremendous catch late in the game. In the fourth quarter, Thielen got a step on the corner back as he ran a corner route and quarternack Sam Bradford dropped a perfect pass just ahead of him. Thielen made an incredible one-handed catch before landing on the turf at the five yard line.
2016 Week 4 vs NYG (3 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
Thielen got open on a "go" route for his first target, but quarterback Sam Bradford threw it a bit short and the defender got away with yanking down the receiver's hand as the football arrived, so the pass was incomplete. The Vikings used a quick snap to catch the Giants off-guard (as they did frequently) and nearly got a score out of it. On his second target, Thielen caught a short pass on a drag route, then ducked a would-be tackler, turned upfield to get the first down. Thielen also caught his final target, a short pass in the red zone in the middle of the second half. After that, Bradford looked elsewhere and Thielen didn't contribute more to the team yardage total.
2016 Week 5 vs HOU (8 / 7 / 127 / 1 rec)
Thielen and quarterback Sam Bradford had a nearly perfect day on Sunday, connecting on all but one of their pass attempts. All but one of their connections were over 10 yards and for first downs as well. Thielen ran solid routes throughout the game, and his touchdown--a 36-yard score in the first quarter--came when he threw a double-move on cornerback Jonathan Joseph. The maneuver left him wide open for a pass from Bradford, who hit him in stride. Thielen waltzed into the end zone for a score. While he has had moments, Thielen has been inconsistent so far this year, however on Sunday he turned in a tremendous performance.
2016 Week 8 vs CHI (5 / 3 / 40 / 0 rec)
Thielen was well covered by the secondary, though quarterback Sam Bradford still tried to get him the ball to occasional success. On one play late in the second quarter, Theilen ran a go route down the field, and had the inside position on his coverage. Bradford threw the ball just a little long, so Thielen extended his body for a great catch and a big first down. Thielen was targeted just one more time during the whole game, late in the third when he caught a ball for a first down.
2016 Week 9 vs DET (6 / 4 / 68 / 0 rec)
Thielen comes up with big catches when quarterback Sam Bradford needs him to, and did so again on Sunday, snagging a few balls for firsts and making a spectacular catch late in the game. Thielen seems to have the ability to find the seams in the defense and get open. Unfortunately, Thielen didn't get a target between the early first and the middle of the third quarter, but when he was a target, he made the most of it.
2016 Week 10 vs WAS (4 / 3 / 21 / 1 rec, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)
Thielen had a solid day, catching all but one of his targets and scoring a touchdown on a short out route. On that play, Thielen motioned into the backfield and then ran a short screen route. He was wide open when Bradford saw him and scored an easy touchdown. Unfortunately, he was also the target on a brutal interception. On the play, Sam Bradford had plenty of time as he dropped back but seemed to stare Thielen down. Whether that tipped off linebacker Preston Smith or if Bradford just missed him, the quarterback threw the ball right at the defender for an interception.
2016 Week 11 vs ARI (5 / 5 / 65 / 1 rec)
With Patrick Peterson blanketing Stefon Diggs, Sam Bradford had to go elsewhere and Adam Thielen was the beneficiary. That led to him being the receiver on Bradford's one touchdown, where he did a fantastic job hauling in the ball and getting both feet in. Bradford delivered the ball where only Thielen would get it, and the receiver had to twist himself all the way around in order to get the ball. He then got first one foot, and then the second into the field of play for the score. Initially the play was ruled incomplete but the Vikings challenged the play and it was quickly reversed and ruled a touchdown.
2016 Week 12 vs DET (11 / 8 / 53 / 0 rec)
The heavy dose of short passes Thielen got resulted in a lot of catches adding up to very few yards. The biggest play Thielen was involved in was the worst possible result--an interception which cost the Vikings the game. On the play, in the waning moments of the game, Thielen ran a short route and was open, though not by much. He did have good position on the defender covering him but what neither he nor Sam Bradford were ready for was corner Darius Slay. Slay released his receiver--who was going deep and covered by a safety--and curled back in to Thielen. The ball was thrown where it should have gone-away from the initial defender-but right to Slay. Thielen didn't have a chance to react and disrupt the pass, which was intercepted.
2016 Week 13 vs DAL (9 / 7 / 86 / 0 rec)
The target on one of the lone longer passes (a 23-yard 'bomb' early in the first quarter where Thielen split the defensive zone), Thielen had a productive game as the clear No. 2 to Stefon Diggs. His biggest play was a negative, though, as he fumbled a punt return and handed the ball to Dallas on the Vikings 8-yard line. The Cowboys scored on the next play.
2016 Week 14 vs JAX (5 / 4 / 101 / 0 rec)
While still a bit inconsistent game to game, Adam Thielen has emerged as quarterback Sam Bradford's most reliable target, at all levels of the field. On his very first target, Thielen got behind coverage and was wide open for a deep pass from Bradford. The 41-yard pass play could have gone for more had Thielen been able to keep his balance and stay in bounds. There was nothing fancy about the route, Thielen simply ran past the defender. Thielen also showed some nice moves and a nose for the open field on a 26-yard catch and run in the third quarter. On the play, he boxed out the defender to make the catch, then dashed into the middle of the field, leaving the Jaguar in the dust. Thielen then did a nice job of continuing to look for the open field, choosing a path which gave him some blockers, and added a ton of yards after the play. While he's not really fast or quick, he does show good vision in the open field, and has done a nice job in creating plays when needed.
2016 Week 15 vs IND (1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Thielen was red hot coming into Sunday's game, but the Indianapolis Colts found ways to slow him down and keep him from getting open. He was held catchless prior to the hit which knocked him out in the third quarter. He did draw a foul on the play which sent him to the sideline, as defensive back Darius Butler blasted him as he was catching the ball and was hit with an unnecessary roughness penalty.
2016 Week 16 vs GB (15 / 12 / 202 / 2 rec, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
It's pretty obvious that quarterback Sam Bradford favors Thielen pretty heavily no matter the field position, down or distance. Next to tight end Kyle Rudolph, nobody has been targeted more often since Week 10, and over the last four games, he is by far the most targeted wide receiver (again, just behind Rudolph over all). So it should come as no shock that Thielen was the most targeted player in the offense this past Saturday. The result was a career day for Thielen, who was the one player the Packers just had no answer for. Thielen had 142 yards and a touchdown in the first half, and just kept adding yards throughout the game. While the Packers did play a little softer with a large lead, they still just couldn't come up with an answer for the receiver. On his first touchdown, Thielen ran a route down the sideline, did a little double move on his defender, then took off down the field again. Sam Bradford delivered the ball to his receiver 30-yards down field. Two Packers collided behind Thielen, who was then free to run the last 31 yards for the score. Thielen's second touchdown didn't even require that much effort, as he ran a short route into the end zone, then drifted across the back line, uncovered. Bradford saw him and delivered the ball for a score.
2016 Week 17 vs CHI (1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Thielen was on the field for all but two offensive snaps, but he saw just one target all day. He did catch it and nearly stretched for a touchdown, but was brought down just short.
2015 Week 4 vs DEN (8 / 6 / 70 / 0 rec)
Ostensibly the number two receiver, Adam Thielen looked good on what were mostly short-to-intermediate routes. Interestingly, these seem to be the routes tight end Kyle Rudolph used to be successful with, and one wonders if Thielen has supplanted Rudolph's role directly. While Thielen made some nice catches in space where he could add yards after the catch, he also had to make a few plays in traffic and fought for extra yards. Thielen is getting chances, though at present they seem limited in overall impact--the effort to do more is there though and it feels like only a matter of time before he breaks out.
2015 Week 7 vs DET (2 / 1 / 30 / 0 rec)
Thielen's best play came in the third quarter when he found himself wide open along the right sideline between the corner and the safety. He made an easy catch and turned upfield, but was tackled just short of the end zone.
2015 Week 14 vs ARI (1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Thielen had one catch on a short out route and nothing else. He isn't a factor in most games, unless it was on special teams.
2015 Week 15 vs CHI (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec, 1 / 8 / 0 rush)
Thielen was not thrown to in the course of the game, instead being called upon to run once for a first down near the end of the game. He mostly stayed on special teams.
2015 Week 16 vs NYG (1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Thielen made a great catch along the sideline, extending himself to make the grab while keeping both feet in bounds. It was his only target, though he was on the field for 24 offensive snaps.
2015 Week 17 vs GB (1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec, 2 / 67 / 0 rush)
Thielen's biggest contribution was on a fake punt where he took the ball and ran for a first down and a 41-yard gain. Later, Thielen took the ball and ran off the right end for a 26-yard gain. During both runs he showed some elusiveness and patience as he followed his blockers to maximize yardage before getting hauled down. Thielen was injured in the third quarter on a special teams play and didn't see any action after he left the field.
2014 Week 5 vs GB (5 / 4 / 57 / 0 rec)
The first pass to UDFA Adam Thielen sailed wide and away, forcing him to dive for it to even have a chance of catching it. The second pass was on target though, and Thielen was able to make a defender miss to pick up a few more yards for a 13-yard reception in the third quarter. Thielen and Ponder hooked up for several more catches and the rookie receiver did a good job of shielding the ball from defenders and blocking them out with his body. While Thielen is still very raw, he did show some good hands and solid route running.
2014 Week 16 vs MIA (1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
Thielen had a really nice 12-yard catch for a first down in the third quarter, but Teddy Bridgewater threw an interception before anything could really get going.
2014 Week 17 vs CHI (3 / 3 / 68 / 1 rec)
Thielen had a solid game on Sunday, showing an ability to create separation from coverage whether by good route running (as on his first catch in the early third quarter) or taking advantage of blown coverage (as he did on his 44-yard touchdown catch). With the three catches on Sunday, he almost doubled his catches for the year though, which should remind people that he isn't all that involved in the offense during most games.