Lunchbreak: Thielen Voted NFC North Offensive MVP by ESPN

While the Vikings season ended abruptly and short of their ultimate goal, there’s no denying the positive performances and impressive stats put up by individual players throughout the season.

ESPN recently recognized receiver Adam Thielen in its handing out of “NFC North awards.” Writers for ESPN.com collaborated to decide on four awards and named Thielen the division’s Offensive MVP. They wrote:

The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver tied an NFL record in 2018 by notching 100 yards receiving in each of his first eight games of the year. His strong campaign capped off back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Since his breakout season two years ago, Thielen has become one of the NFL’s top receiving threats and one of its best underdog stories. He rose from rookie tryout player to elite talent. Thielen quickly emerged as the favorite target of quarterback Kirk Cousins. Their chemistry helped the Vikings achieve top-10 figures in total offense and passing yards early on and allowed the offense to compensate for the run game it struggled to establish. Toward the end of the year, teams finally began to treat Thielen like a No. 1 receiver by dedicating two defenders to him, which hindered his production down the stretch. Still, by season’s end, Thielen finished tied for fourth in the league in receptions (113); he was ninth in receiving yards (1,373); and he finished tied for 10th in receiving touchdowns (nine) with his teammate Stefon Diggs and New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas.

View the best 30 Vikings celebration photos caught on camera from the 2018 season.

Chicago, the only NFC North team to make it to the postseason, ran away with the other three awards.

Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy was tabbed as the division’s Coach of the Year. Khalil Mack, who led the Bears with 12.5 sacks and forced six fumbles, was named Defensive MVP.

Rookie of the Year went to linebacker Roquan Smith, whom the Vikings will continue to see in seasons to come.

Smith finished second all-time among Bears rookies with 122 tackles, and he had 10-plus tackles in six games. The Georgia product also was the first Bears defender since Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher to record four sacks and one interception in his rookie season. The best is still to come for Smith, who doesn’t turn 22 until April.

Vikings ‘limbo’ TD celebration up for NFL’s Celebration of the Year

The Vikings touchdown celebration against the Packers is up for the NFL’s Celebration of the Year.

After Dalvin Cook scored his first career receiving touchdown, a 26-yard play, he dropped the ball and motioned for teammates to join him for “limbo.” Tom Compton and Rashod Hill quickly stood in as the two posts, lifting Adam Thielen above their heads as the bar. Even rookie tackle Brian O’Neill got in on the fun, jumping in between receiver Stefon Diggs to shimmy – not so gracefully – beneath Thielen.

The Vikings defeated the Lions in the bracket-style voting on NFL.com and now are up against the Seahawks choreographed post-touchdown dance.

The winner will be announced at NFL Honors on the eve of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

Fans can vote for their favorite celebrations here.

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