You can talk all you want about some of the top wide receivers in the NFL. Throw out all the numbers you want for Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill, whoever.
None of them are better than Adam Thielen. If you’re not sure what I mean, then read the headline again, then read this:
Adam Thielen is the best wide receiver in the NFL. Period. Dot. Full stop.
Are guys faster than Thielen? Yeah, but not much. Do some other guys have better career numbers? Sure, I’m not going to dispute that. But does anyone have better hands than Thielen? No. Does anyone run better routes than him? Nope. AND HE HAS MORE GRIT THAN ANYONE BABY WOOOOOOO!
Seriously, he leads the NFL in targets, catches, yards, and yards per game. He’s the only player in the Super Bowl era to begin the season with 100 or more receiving yards in each of his first six games. Jerry Rice didn’t do that. Neither did Randy Moss. Same for Cris Carter, Andre Reed, and Terrell Owens.
Adam Thielen is it. List of one, baby.
That’s more receptions yards and 100 yard games this year than Antonio Brown. Or Michael Thomas. Or Julio Jones. Or Tyreek Hill.
Or anyone. Just look if you don’t believe me:
Adam Thielen's game log is so ridiculous that it almost looks fake:— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) October 14, 2018
Week 1: 6/102 (12 targets)
Week 2: 12/131/1 (13 targets)
Week 3: 14/105 (19 targets)
Week 4: 8/135/1 (12 targets)
Week 5: 7/116/1 (10 targets)
Week 6: 11/123/1 (15 targets)
We have a new elite receiver in the NFL: #Vikings @athielen19 who is one 100-yard game shy of tying the 57-year old record for most such games to start a season. His 58 receptions are the most of any receiver through 6 games of the Super Bowl Era.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) October 15, 2018
So come at me all you want with ‘Tyreek Hill is the best WR in the NFL’ takes
Chris Simms thinks Tyreek Hill is the best WR in the NFL. Do you agree?— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 15, 2018
Chris Simms (seriously stop because that take was as bad as your accuracy when you played), or that Thielen is ‘just’ a top 5-10 WR in the NFL. Let’s see how the top receivers in Washington are doing, since the Redskins went with Alex Smith, a guy that clearly elevates the players around him (he said sarcastically):
Adam Thielen has 58 receptions this season.— Al Galdi (@AlGaldi) October 15, 2018
Reed, Richardson, Doctson & Crowder have combined for 57 receptions this season.#Redskins
I also love extrapolating numbers out when a guy sets a ridiculous pace to start the season. Here’s what Thielen will do if he keeps it up through a full 16 games:
Adam Thielen is on pace for 216 targets, 155 receptions, 1,899 receiving yards & 10.7 receiving touchdowns.— Mike Braude (@BraudeM) October 15, 2018
Whew, that’s pretty good. So is this:
It had Cardinals defensive backs up in arms:
And look, you can’t tell Thielen’s story without some background, because NO ONE HAS HEARD THIS BEFORE I’M QUITE CERTAIN:
Adam Thielen's story is so inspiring.— I Am Not Ed Hochuli (@IAmNotEdHochuli) October 15, 2018
-Found inside a Russian container ship age 4
-Works as 18th century London chimney sweep
-D8 Mankato State football
-Drafted back to London for more chimney sweeping
-Emerged a star despite not actually being on #Vikings roster#skol pic.twitter.com/x9mtwcZzip
Look, Thielen isn’t doing this alone. he has a great QB in Kirk Cousins, and opposite him is Stefon Diggs, another fantastic WR that defenses are still focusing on more than Thielen:
Defenses are truly picking their poison. Diggs is a better deep threat, and are rolling coverage over to him to avoid getting deep, but the Vikings have AT in the slot eating up 10-15(or more) yard chunks. It be worse if opposing defenses put their CB1 on AT. https://t.co/B6oj23sQ5E— Yinka Ayinde (@Saxyprince) October 15, 2018
When you have two true number one wide receivers like the VIkings do, it’s definitely a Sophie’s Choice on who to cover, and teams are still trying to prevent Diggs from burning them deep. And for most teams, the guy they roll out to cover Thielen simply can’t, and it’s allowed him to pile up huge numbers through six games. Because let’s face it, for all the help he gets from Diggs in drawing coverage away from him, and Cousins in getting him the ball, he still has to catch it and make something happen. And he does, with amazing regularity.
So compile all the ‘best WR in the NFL’ lists you want...
Adam Thielen is a top 10 WR in the NFL. The only debate is how close he may be to top 5.— Tyler Demint (@t_demint) October 15, 2018
My Top 7 NFL WRs:— Cash Considerations (@Consider_Cash) October 15, 2018
1. Antonio Brown
2. Deandre Hopkins
3. Julio Jones
4. Michael Thomas
5. Adam Thielen
6. AJ Green
7. Odell Beckham Jr.
...but if Thielen isn’t number one on said list, your list is invalid and bereft of football knowledge.