The Minnesota Vikings’ struggles on offense in 2016 overshadowed the individual performances of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. This year, the Vikings’ 1A and 1B receivers are making sure they don’t go unnoticed.
Diggs and Thielen combined for 13 catches, 271 yards and two touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Even with quarterback Sam Bradford on the shelf, the two playmakers showed off their ability to get open in all areas of the field. Thielen caught a 45-yard bomb on the third play from scrimmage. The grab was Thielen’s sixth “deep” pass (as defined by NFL official scoring) this season and his 25th since the start of last year.
”We talked about that a bunch this week, the receivers and [Case Keenum],” Thielen said. “We have to start fast because that’s how we can gain some confidence, the O-line gain confidence in us and Case…that was huge to connect right away.”
Then Diggs matched him with a 47-yard deep toss late in the first half. Diggs caught a go-up-and-get-it touchdown in the red zone, and broke off a 59-yard TD with the majority of his yards coming after the catch.
Big performances from the tandem are becoming a weekly occurrence. Against the New Orleans Saints, Diggs and Thielen gained 254 yards on 16 catches.