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Adam Thielen's Career Day Sparks Vikings Offense

MINNEAPOLIS –Sam Bradford didn't know much about Adam Thielen when he joined the Vikings only five weeks ago. Now, he just can't believe Thielen wasn't drafted.

"How a guy like that goes undrafted, it's kind of hard to believe," Bradford said after Sunday's 31-13 win over the Texans.

Thielen had a career day against Houston, breaking 100 receiving yards in a game for the first time. He finished with seven catches for 127 yards and a touchdown.

"With [Stefon] Diggs down today, we moved Adam quite a bit, and he just made plays all over the field for us – in the slot, outside, a variety of different routes," Bradford said. "To have a guy like him, that's huge for his offense."

The Vikings offense came out of the gates strong, driving smoothly down the field and alternating between first and second downs.

On a second-and-12 situation on Minnesota's 42-yard line, Sam Bradford connected with Thielen for a 23-yard pass down the sideline. Just two snaps later, Bradford dropped back, wound up and fired again to Thielen, who caught the perfectly timed deep ball in stride and ran the final five yards into the end zone.

Thielen credited Bradford, who he said has been "locked in" since he arrived in Minnesota.

"It's pretty easy to get comfortable with a guy like that," Thielen said. "[He's] a guy that trusts whoever's in there and trusts whoever's open to go make a play."

The 36-yard touchdown was Thielen's second receiving score of his career and occurred in his sixth game started. Thielen received the starting nod in place of Diggs, who was sidelined with an injury.

When asked about the point he knew he'd be starting, Thielen said he always prepares the same way.

"You have to practice like you're going to play," Thielen said. "When I was on practice squad I was practicing like I was going to play. You have to prepare like you're going to start."

And Bradford had no doubts about Thielen, who entered the game with career highs of 13 receptions for 145 yards and at least two catches in every game this season.

"We knew that [Adam] was going to have to be the guy to get us going today with Diggs out," Bradford said. "I thought he did a great job from the first route on – he just went out there and got open and made plays."

Thielen may have had the best numbers of his three seasons on the active roster, but the number he's looking at has nothing to do with yardage.

"I'm just glad we won the game, and going into the bye week at 5-0 feels really good," Thielen said. "I'm just playing football. I love to play this game, and when the ball's in the air, I want to make sure it's mine."

Thielen's humble, team-first attitude emulates the mentality emphasized by Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who is often stingy in handing out compliments. On Sunday, however, Zimmer offered one to the Minnesota native.

"Adam's a tough, competitive guy. When he gets the opportunity, he just makes plays," Zimmer said. "He's a good guy. He competes every day in practice. He just goes hard. He's kind of the ultimate, typical Viking – guys that go in and fight."

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