8 bold predictions for the Minnesota Vikings 2021 season

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /

Thielen will lead the Vikings in touchdown receptions

Irv Smith Jr.’s season-ending injury put a giant hole in the Vikings’ offense. A tight end that can make plays after the catch would have been a great weapon to utilize in the end zone. With Smith gone, someone else has to take that role.

Adam Thielen had a strong 2020 season with 925 yards and finishing third in the league with 14 receiving touchdowns. While his volume may go down with the emergence of Justin Jefferson, Thielen could be the main red zone target and see his touchdowns rank among the league’s best in 2021.

Of course, that’s not without some caveats. Jefferson’s rookie year should convince the Vikings to throw the ball to him more. With Dalvin Cook also mixing into the passing game, Kirk Cousins should have plenty of options to throw touchdowns to. But Thielen has the rapport and it could put him on pace for one of the best seasons of his career.