MINNEAPOLIS – Another day, another 100 receiving yards for Adam Thielen.
There hasn't been a game this season that Thielen hasn't surpassed the triple-digit benchmark, and he continues to rack up the catches at a similar rate.
Thielen's 10th of 11 receptions on the day came in the end zone during the third quarter.
On third-and-1 from the Arizona 13, the receiver stutter-stepped – in custom-painted cleats inspired by The Mighty Ducks – and dashed past Cardinals linebacker Josh Bynes, then snagged the pass from Kirk Cousins in stride for a touchdown. Following the score, Thielen gestured for his teammates to join him in the end zone before loosely swinging his arms in the "dead-arm dance."
Thielen laughed about the celebration following the game.
"Everybody's doing it. It's the cool thing," said Thielen, who later explained that the move often gets confused with "The Bernie."
The dance was an old college go-to for Thielen, who had decided in advance to break it out if he got into the end zone.
"We used to do that a lot, just having fun in the locker room," said the alum of Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Thielen's score gave Minnesota a 20-10 lead and some breathing room after entering halftime up by just three. It capped off a drive in which he had converted a third-and-13 with an impressive, diving catch that was reviewed by officials. The call stood as a first down.
Cousins talked about the importance of Thielen making the tough catch to keep the drive alive.
"If we don't convert that, we are punting. The odds of converting a third-and-13 with their pass rush are not high," Cousins said. "With how close the game ends up being, I think that is a huge play, and it's kind of a hidden play because it's not the one that scored the points or the one that people will talk about, but that is a big, big play.
"Especially because they dropped [several defenders into coverage]," Cousins added of the Cardinals defense. "They weren't bringing the house. It wasn't like there were a lot of windows up out there. Took a great play, and it was huge that we got that."
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer told media members postgame that Thielen doesn't think there's a ball he can't catch.
"That's how he is in practice every day," Zimmer said. "Adam has a great heart, he's a really tough kid. He comes over to me and talks to me during the game about stuff that's going on, and it's always about, 'These guys can't guard me,' and all the stuff like that."
Added Zimmer: "Adam is a heck of a football player, and I'm glad he's on our team."
Gone are the days of Thielen's name being unrecognized across the league.
Vikings second-round draft pick Brian O'Neill, who made his first career start at right tackle Sunday, said he's never known a Thielen who wasn't making plays.
"I guess I've never seen anything else except that," O'Neill said. "That's all I know is that guy getting over 100 yards. Hopefully that's all I know for a long time."
Thielen finished the day with 11 catches for 123 yards, becoming the first player in the Super Bowl era to start a season with 100-plus yards receiving in each of his first six games. Oilers receiver Charley Hennigan did so in the AFL's inaugural 1961 season.
Thielen's 58 receptions on the season set a team record for the most catches in the first six games to start the season, surpassing Percy Harvin's 49 in 2012. It also set an NFL record, pushing him ahead of Keenan Allen's 53 in 2015.
Thielen's 712 receiving yards so far also set a team record through the first six games of a season, surpassing Hall of Famer Randy Moss, who had 666 in 2003.
But in true Thielen fashion, he isn't focused on the personal accomplishments.
"Honestly, I feel like I sound like a broken record, but it's such a team stat," Thielen said. "They're matching [Stefon] Diggs and letting me do my thing. When you have great players around you, that's the only way you can do those things. We have so many great players, so many great guys who are selfless.
"I love those guys, I appreciate them," Thielen continued. "And we have a great quarterback, a great play caller, and the guys in our locker room, it's just fun to have that. You just want this team to be successful, and then do your part to help them win."
Thielen's performance helped the Vikings add another checkmark in the "W" column, the only stat he
does care about.
Minnesota defeated Arizona 27-17 to move to 3-2-1 on the season.
"Any time you win in this league, it feels good," Thielen said. "Getting back at home and getting a win is huge, and the way we did it – getting the running game going, our defense playing fantastic, special teams playing great. There's a lot of things we have to clean up and do to continue to win, but it was a great team effort, and that's what you want."
Thielen's touchdown celebration wasn't his only throwback ode to his home state.
After wearing his The Mighty Ducks cleats for the game, the Detroit Lakes native in the locker room donned a teal Ducks jersey from the hockey film set in the Twin Cities.
"If anybody hasn't seen it, watch it," Thielen said. "It's a great movie."
Thielen said he and his teammates enjoy having a good time on and off the field – and there's nothing that beats getting a win.
"Everybody loves to have fun," Thielen said. "And you can't have fun doing what you're doing unless you're doing it well. We have to continue to work on that.
"And we have to continue to work on our dance moves," he added with a laugh. "I don't know how great they were."