StaTuesday: Vikings duo Diggs, Thielen nearing monumental milestones
For much of the 1990s and into the 2000s, the Minnesota Vikings were stacked at wide receiver.
Jake Reed, Cris Carter and Randy Moss dominated opposing secondaries and set just about every franchise record.
But after Moss was traded away in 2005, the talent at wide receiver suffered for over a decade. Names like Troy Williamson, Greg Jennings and Bernard Berrian came to Minnesota with big expectations but never lived up to the hype.
With two games to play in the 2018 season, Diggs is 36 yards away from registering 1,000 receiving yards on the season. He would become the 11th different Vikings player (10th wide receiver) to reach the milestone in a single season, joining Thielen, who’s done it back-to-back years.
If Diggs can reach the milestone, he and Thielen would go down as the fourth pairing in Vikings history to rack up 1,000 yards apiece in the same season and the ninth time overall. It hasn’t been done since Moss tallied 1,437 yards and Carter added 1,274 yards in 2000 — when Thielen and Diggs were 10 and seven years old.
And here’s how Thielen and Diggs stack up:
But that’s not the only milestone the two receivers are approaching. If Diggs catches eight more passes, he’ll reach the century mark in receptions.
Only three different Vikings receivers have tallied 100+ catches in a season: Carter, Moss and Thielen. Carter and Moss did it two times apiece, and Thielen has 105 and counting this year. But Carter and Moss never reached the milestone in the same season.
In fact, two receivers on the same team have tallied 100+ catches three times in NFL history, the most recent example being Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas in 2014 — Peyton Manning’s third year in Denver.
Diggs and Thielen will have to race Pittsburgh’s dynamic duo of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown. Both receivers are chasing the 100-catch mark — JuJu has 95 catches and Brown has 90.
Eight catches for 36 yards over the final two games doesn’t seem like a huge challenge for Diggs, even if he faces Detroit’s elite corner Darius Slay this week and a red-hot Chicago Bears secondary in the regular-season finale.
But if he can pull it off, Diggs and Thielen can officially ink their names as the Vikings’ best duo since Moss and Carter.
It’s just too bad they don’t get along.