Analysis

Thielen reignites offense after Cook’s departure

The Minnesota Vikings appeared to be in full control of Sunday night’s contest with the Seattle Seahawks. Until Dalvin Cook grabbed his leg after a short pass from Kirk Cousins in the third quarter. Seattle then became full of life after trailing 13-0. 

The Seahawks are a team that if you give them an itch, they’ll take a mile. Following Cook’s departure, Seattle scored for the first time on Sunday. Then Kirk Cousins fumbled on the next drive. And disaster struck for Minnesota. Not including special team plays, the Vikings went through a three-play sequence of a D.K. Metcalf touchdown reception, a one-handed interception by K.J. Wright and a 29-yard touchdown run by Chris Carson. 

Seattle’s 21-unanswered points gave it an eight-point lead over Minnesota after being outplayed for most of the game. It was time to turn to their other offensive superstar, Adam Thielen. Instead of letting the game slip away, Thielen and the Vikings stood tall and battled back. 

After the offense showed signs of life for the first time in the second half, Cousins turned to Thielen in a crucial third-and-7 play. The veteran wide receiver found separation against Shaquill Griffin for a 14-yard gain and put Minnesota inside the 5-yard line. A play later, Thielen hauled in the touchdown to pull his team within two. 

The Vikings stopped Seattle on the ensuing possession, but the Seahawks pinned Minnesota on its own 3-yard line. Back-to-back runs from Alexander Mattison netted the Vikings five yards and put them in another third down situation backed up against the wall. Once again, Thielen extended the drive with a 12-yard catch. 

The catch by itself was big because it meant the Seahawks wouldn’t have a short field if they forced a punt. It meant even more than that. Minnesota continued to drive and eventually Cousins found Thielen for another touchdown to give the lead back to the Vikings. 

Unfortunately Minnesota didn’t hold onto the lead, but it wouldn’t have been in the game had it not been for Thielen’s two touchdown, nine reception and 80 yard night. Depending on Cook’s injury status, Thielen will need to play like he did in the second half against Seattle for the Vikings offense to continue to play at a high level. 

 

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Brady Vernon

Brady Vernon is a recent graduate of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree through Gonzaga University. He is an avid sports fan with aspirations of being a NFL Beat Reporter or a role in a NFL front office. Follow him on Twitter @BradyVernon

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