In the case of leaders for the Minnesota Vikings, possibly nobody stands out greater than veteran huge receiver Adam Thielen. Having taken a again seat to famous person Justin Jefferson in latest seasons, Thursday evening’s Thanksgiving matchup might be his time to shine.
Over the previous few seasons, and as he has aged, Adam Thielen could have misplaced a step whereas settling in behind Justin Jefferson. He has actually stepped out of the limelight whereas persevering with to be a frontrunner, and regardless of needing to cope with Stefon Diggs’ antics beforehand, he’s by no means been a distraction.
In 2022 Thielen has solely topped 50 yards in half of the video games he has performed. Working as extra of a complimentary possession receiver alongside the dynamic Jefferson, his new position has labored in Kevin O’Connell’s offense. With the Minnesota Vikings dealing with a robust go rush and an offensive line with out a important contributor, getting the ball moved rapidly may gain advantage Thielen’s present recreation.
There has by no means been a degree throughout his profession the place Thielen has been a burner. Coming from Division 2 Minnesota State Mankato, Thielen earned prominence by displaying robust route operating skills and distinctive fingers. He generates house from defenders by making fast and exact cuts, permitting a quarterback to drive footballs into tight protection. Needing to make the most of smaller dropbacks and faster creating performs on Thursday, Thielen might be the go-to receiver.
By 10 video games this season, Thielen has caught simply two landing passes, and his season excessive in receiving yards got here throughout the pond towards the New Orleans Saints. Seventy-two yards is hardly a lofty aim to prime, and the eight receptions he generated in that contest might be expanded upon towards the Patriots as nicely. Averaging just below 11 yards per reception this season, Thielen could not want to interrupt huge yardage following the catch, but when he can drive defenders again and permit Cousins easy passing lanes, the Vikings ought to be in enterprise.
On Thanksgiving, Matthew Judon will look to feast towards backup left sort out Blake Brandel. That can put further stress on Cousins, and O’Connell might want to have spent this week determining methods to maneuver the ball rapidly. Okay.J. Osborn has proven a capability to function in the course of the sector, whereas Justin Jefferson has stretched the protection. Since T.J. Hockenson joined the squad, there’s been different choices for brief routes, however the veteran Thielen nonetheless represents the gold normal.
Thielen has confronted the Patriots simply twice in his profession, and solely as soon as was he a distinguished member of the offense whereas doing so. In Minnesota’s 2018 loss, he hauled in 5 of 10 targets for 28 yards and a landing. It’s in all probability truthful to recommend a win on Thursday would require the next yardage output, and his play might go a good distance towards taking stress off different abilities that line up on the identical aspect of scrimmage.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that’s centered on all issues Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s lively on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former faculty athlete and avid sports activities fan, protecting our professional groups with a ardour has at all times appeared like such a pure outlet.