News & Analysis

Adam Thielen is the best wide receiver in football through Week 7

Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) runs after catch against New York Jets defensive back Parry Nickerson (43) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen was viewed as the number two pass-catching option on his team behind Stefon Diggs in 2017. However, that narrative has transformed since quarterback Kirk Cousins made his debut in purple and gold.

The Cousins-to-Thielen connection has been impeccable, with the ball coming his way 88 times thus far, ranking second in the league in overall target percentage (27.2%) behind Cincinnati Bengals' A.J. Green. Thielen’s 88 targets are the most in the NFL through seven weeks since DeAndre Hopkins‘ 2015 campaign (101).

With injury concerns at running back, Thielen is the ultimate reason why the Vikings have a top-10 offense in the NFL at the moment, as he leads all wide receivers with a 90.9 overall grade.

 In the fourth quarter Sunday, with 7:06 on the game clock, Thielen took a pencil to the NFL history books as he accomplished a feat that no one else in the Super Bowl era has done; gone over 100-receiving yards for seven consecutive games. Thielen was lined up in the slot on the reception that put him over the 100-yard mark and in frigid New York temperatures, he quickly sprinted downfield and saw the ball coming as he reached the Jets’ 40-yard line and made the snag as cornerback Parry Nickerson closed in on him.

Through seven games, Thielen has caught 67 of 70 catchable targets for a league-high 822 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He's generated a passer rating of 118.7 and averaged 2.54 yards per route run, which is on pace to better his previous career-best of 2.33. He also leads the league in first down receptions (43) and ranks second in yards after the catch (243).

Thielen has been a reliable playmaker that Minnesota can rely on as they trudge to a 4-2-1 record.  Although we are only seven weeks through the season, no receiver is playing better than Adam Thielen is right now.

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