The Minnesota Vikings have had their fair share of ups and downs throughout the first month of the season. It has led star wide receiver to make sharp criticisms of the offense that drew a public apology from quarterback Kirk Cousins. In response to all of that, Thielen added yet another confusing stance to the situation.
Vikings’ stumble to start 2019 season
The Vikings have struggled out of the gate to the 2019 season, splitting their first four games, including their first two road contests. All of that has pushed them to the bottom of the standings in the NFC North.
The bulk of the attention has centered on Minnesota’s notable offensive issues, stemming from their lack of a true passing game. Former Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins has taken a step back in his production as he has passed for 732 yards on a 64.6% completion rate along with three touchdowns to two interceptions. This has created some level of concern around Cousins’ long-term future in Minnesota.
Cousins hasn’t topped more than 235 passing yards in any game while falling short of 175 yards twice, including just 98 yards in the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. There has been an evident lack of emphasis on the passing game, which has drawn much frustration out of the team’s two star wide receivers in Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who has had trade rumors linked to him.
It was a matter of time before these internal issues became public, with the Pro Bowl wideout finally airing out his pent-up emotions.
Adam Thielen criticizes Vikings’ offense, blames media for creating narrative
Following Sunday’s 16-6 loss to the Chicago Bears, Thielen was one of the most vocal Vikings players by taking aim at the team’s lack of offensive balance.
The All-Pro wideout indirectly criticized Cousins while voicing his desire to have the passing game involved in a larger capacity, according to Chad Graff of The Athletic.
“At some point, you’re not going to be able to run the ball for 180 yards, even with the best running back in the NFL. That’s when you have to be able to throw the ball…You have to be able to hit the deep balls.”
The comments made their way around back to Cousins, who issued a public apology vowing to remedy the situation moving forward. However, Thielen has now shaken the entire matter up by stating it was the media that generated the perception of frustration around the team.
These comments are quite confusing given that the 29-year-old was the one that aired out his dissatisfaction. His stance may have come after a disappointing loss, but it does give off a reasonable sense that this was something that had hit a tipping point.
Vikings served wake-up call from Adam Thielen
Regardless of whether Thielen is attempting to switch up the narrative, the Vikings have the opportunity in front of them to turn it around.
There are still 12 games remaining in the regular season, which is more than enough time to navigate back in the right direction. It hasn’t all been completely discouraging as third-year running back Dalvin Cook is playing some of the best football of his career. Cook is currently second in the league with 410 rushing yards along with five touchdowns while hauling in 15 catches for 114 receiving yards.
The Vikings also possess one of the best wide receiver duos in the league that showcased their elite talent last season by each topping 1,000 receiving yards and 100 receptions. It may simply come down to the Vikings making a strong effort to pass the ball to balance out their offense.