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5th Straight 100-Yard Game Out of Gate Puts Thielen in NFL Record Book

PHILADELPHIA — Forget the feel-good story; we're long past that.

It's now clear more than ever that Adam Thielen is one of the NFL's best wide receivers.

The Vikings wide receiver has the stats and spot in the record book to back it up.

Thielen had seven catches for 116 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, becoming the first NFL player during the Super Bowl era to have at least 100 receiving yards in the first five games of a season.

Naturally, the Minnesota native downplayed his impressive accomplishment.

"Not really thinking about it," Thielen said. "Just worried about our record and onto the next game now.

"I don't even know who we play," Thielen added. "So obviously just have to get this game out of our minds in the next 24 hours and then go back to work."

Thielen had 102 yards in the season opener before following that up with a 131-yard effort in Week 2 at Green Bay. He then had 105 receiving yards in Week 3 before racking up 135 yards against the Rams in Los Angeles.

Thielen now has the most receiving yards (589) in Vikings history through the opening five games of a season, surpassing Hall of Famer Randy Moss' 515 yards in 2003.

The wide receiver's teammates said after Sunday's 23-21 win in Philadelphia that they aren't surprised anymore by Thielen's weekly performances.

"He's a really nice guy, and he really fits the 'Minnesota Nice' thing, and he's a great spokesperson for this state," said Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. "And yeah, he is a competitor, he loves to compete.

"He didn't want to take a day off in OTAs, didn't want to take a day off in training camp," Cousins added. "When he isn't involved in the offense for any amount of time, he gets frustrated because he wants to help the team."

Added Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs "It's no surprise to me. I've been an Adam fan for a very long time."

Perhaps Thielen's best catch of the game was his first one, a 24-yard grab in which he lunged for the throw from Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and picked up a first down.

Or maybe it was a 68-yard catch-and-run, Minnesota's longest play of the day, that helped set up a crucial Dan Bailey field goal.

"Yeah, I mean, shoot - you look at one of the first plays in the game when he's getting hit, and he just throws it out there and lets me go run to it, and I made a play," Thielen said of the aforementioned catches. "All day, he just continues to sit back there and trust us to get open.

"A lot of times he probably can't even see us, but he just trusts us as receivers to get open because that's our job, and he throws it and lets us, really, just go out there and make a play," Thielen added.

Unsurprisingly, it was No. 19 in white who helped ice the game by recovering Eagles kicker Jake Elliott's onside kick try with just over a minute left. That allowed Cousins to take a knee and run out the clock.

"Obviously that's the most important play of the game because if we don't get that, they have a chance to easily win the game," Thielen said. "The good thing is our coaches do a phenomenal job of putting us in good positions, and we knew all week he was going to come to my side [after we watched] plenty of tape.

"He's a really good on-side kicker, and he kicked a phenomenal kick," Thielen added. "That was one of the nastiest kicks I'd ever seen. It wasn't easy, but we got it done. "

Thielen was a Pro Bowler for the first time in 2017, and added a Second-Team All-Pro selection to his resumé as well.

Five games into the 2018 season, he looks better than ever.

"I think his deal is all heart. Number one, he's got the biggest heart there is," said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. "Number two, he's always talking about how he can get better.

"He comes up to me during the week and said, 'I'm doing this, I just need to run, I need to do this,' and I said, 'Well, I'll remind you.' Even the long one he caught, he said, 'Man, I'm faster than that. I should have scored on that one,' " Zimmer added. "But that's the kind of guy he is. The onside kick went to him, and I told him, 'Catch it the first time next time, would ya?' But he's a great competitor."