ORIGINAL: Mark Anderson
ORIGINAL: David F.
In 2015, Thielen was honored as the Vikings Special Teams Player of the Year. His seven special teams tackles ranked tied for second on the team. In Week 4, he hauled in a career-high six passes for 70 yards in a road game at the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. In the regular season finale road game against the Green Bay Packers on January 3, 2016 for the NFC North division, the Vikings executed a fake punt during the first drive of the game in which Thielen ran for 41 yards. He carried the ball another time for 26 yards, totaling 67 yards on two carries that tied for second in Vikings history for rushing yards in a game by a wide receiver with the effort. He also added a 16-yard catch as the Vikings ultimately clinched the NFC North title. Thielen finished the season with 12 catches for 144 yards with a long of 30.
In the second preseason game, an 18–11 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, Thielen led all Vikings receivers with four catches for 61 yards. With Stefon Diggs sidelined due to a groin injury, Thielen received the starting nod in his place and had one of the best performances of his career against the Houston Texans, breaking 100 receiving yards in a game for the first time in his career as he finished the game with seven catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. In the Vikings' loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 10, Thielen caught his second touchdown of the season on a 3-yard toss from Sam Bradford and also carried the ball once for 11 yards. Thielen had a career-day on December 24, 2016 in a Week 16 loss to the Green Bay Packers with a 202-yard, two touchdown performance at Lambeau Field. His performance was just the fifth 200-yard receiving performance in Vikings history, and the third that saw a Vikings receiver have at least 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He had the most receiving yards by a Viking since Percy Harvin in 2011. Thielen needed only 40 yards receiving in the Week 17 Chicago Bears game to hit 1,000 yards on the season, and only once in the previous six games had he been held under 50 yards. However, he was targeted only once for a seven-yard gain to finish the season with 967 yards, giving the Vikings their first pair of Vikings receivers with 900 yards each since Randy Moss and Cris Carter accomplished the feat.
After having entered the 2016 season as an underdog, Thielen ended up leading the Vikings with 967 receiving yards, while also adding a career-high 69 catches and five touchdowns. His 10.0 yards per target and 75.0% catch rate ranked in the top five players among NFL wide receivers. Thielen dropped only two passes on 92 targets according to Sporting Charts, and Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 18th best receiver in the league. For his efforts, NFL.com named Thielen as their "Unsung Hero" for the Minnesota Vikings.
Don't forget Belichek/Bledsoe/Brady
Do you have any idea what caliber of players the Patriots have traded away, let go, or benched in favor of someone they thought was better or some combination of cheaper/better? They wrote the book on that. Ask Richard Seymour.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm in an unhealthy co-dependent relationship with the Vikings. Damn it.