Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have been phenomenal, but if the Minnesota Vikings want to make a playoff push, they’ll have to find a third option in the passing game.
The Minnesota Vikings sit at 6-4-1 heading into a Week 13 matchup with the New England Patriots and a big reason for their success this season has been the play of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The two have combined 172 receptions this season, and both rank in the top-five in the NFL in terms of targets with Thielen commanding 124 (second to Julio Jones) and Diggs seeing 114 (tied for fifth with Davante Adams.
To go deeper, Diggs and Thielen have represented 54 percent of Kirk Cousins’ completions (league-high 318) and 58.6 percent of his passing yards (3,289) this season. When you have receivers like this, it’s common sense to throw the ball their way as much as possible.
As the Vikings prepare for the Patriots on Sunday, they run into a team that head coach Mike Zimmer described as “really [making] you try to win left-handed.” If this is the route the Patriots want to go against Minnesota, stopping Diggs and Thielen would be a good start and a similar blueprint may be used as the Vikings head down the stretch as they make a push toward the playoffs.
This could be a big problem for Minnesota as they haven’t had the depth behind one of the best receiver duos in the NFL. The next leading receiver on the Vikings has been Kyle Rudolph (42 catches, 425 yards, and two touchdowns) followed by a wasteland of Laquon Treadwell (29-266-1), Dalvin Cook (19-172-1) and Latavius Murray (18-132-0).
With this in mind, it’s a fair question to ask on who could contribute down the stretch and what they can bring to the table as opponents continue to adjust.