It's well-known that Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are right up there when looking at the top wide receiver duos across the NFL.
Away from the field, the two are nearly inseparable.
Courtney Cronin of ESPN recently sat down and chatted with Diggs and Thielen about their close-knit bond, and how they use their friendship to drive each other on a daily basis.
The dynamic between the NFL's top receiving duo includes plenty of inside jokes, chops-busting and finishing each other's sentences. It's a bond formed between Diggs and Thielen since their paths converged in Minnesota in 2015. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, serving as a complement to the other's success, each a star on his own but a true luxury for any team to have as a package.
They're two unlikely NFL stars from widely different backgrounds: Diggs, the five-star prospect turned fifth-round pick who became one of the league's richest receivers this offseason after signing a [multi-year] extension, and Thielen, a Minnesota State, Mankato product who rose from undrafted free-agent practice squad member to Pro Bowl receiver in four seasons.
What makes them great on the field is what has been built off it: A bond between two players in different places of their lives who have become the most important, versatile chess pieces in the Vikings' offense. How they got to that point came via a shared mindset of how they'd approach their goals, always chomping at the bit to reach the next pinnacle of success.
The tandem ranks among the league's best in recent years, and the production has continued in 2018.
Thielen has 32 catches for 338 yards, both totals that rank in the top four of all players around the league. The Minnesota native also has a touchdown reception.
Diggs, who has 16 receptions for 188 yards and is tied for second in the NFL with three touchdown catches.
Each has had individual success in his career, but it's been because of the help and support of the other along the way.
Over the past two seasons, Diggs and Thielen have reached their own milestones but often point to the other when reasoning why they were able to achieve that success. That's why being considered among — if not the — best receiving duo in the NFL is an honor they're grateful for, but one they don't let define them.
They'd rather live by a different rule, the one that's kept them accountable to themselves and each other, and allowed them to get this far: Show, don't tell.
"I think that's why we both have a chip on our shoulder and we play with a passion that I don't think everybody plays with," Thielen said. "I think that's helped us get to where we are."
Vikings looking for rebound effort
If the Vikings want to bounce back from a disappointing result in Week 3, they'll have to do so against one of the NFL's top teams.
Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune wrote that Minnesota's Thursday night matchup against the Rams could be one of the toughest games for the Vikings all season.
When the Vikings arrive at the Coliseum, waiting will be three of the league's top offensive performers — quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley and receiver Brandin Cooks — and a stingy L.A. defense fronted by a pair of first-team All-Pro defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald. The Vikings will catch one break — the Rams' starting cornerbacks are injured. Aqib Talib (ankle) is out, and Marcus Peters (calf) is questionable.
On the Rams' sideline is the NFL's wunderkind. [Sean] McVay became the NFL Coach of the Year after turning around a league-worst scoring offense to the best in his first season as head coach.
One of the only teams to stop the Rams last season was the Vikings, in Minnesota's 24-7 home victory in November. So the Vikings' embarrassing loss to the Bills isn't necessarily a precursor to Thursday night, McVay said.
"You don't have to look too much further other than our game against them last year," McVay said. "By no means do I think that game or the score is representative of the caliber of defense, the caliber of players or the caliber of coaching."
The Vikings and Rams met in Week 11 of the 2017 season with both teams holding a 7-2 record.
Although Los Angeles scored a touchdown on its opening possession, Minnesota answered the rest of the way to come out with a 24-7 win at U.S. Bank Stadium.