Since bursting onto the scene late in the 2016 season, Adam Thielen has been a thorn in the side of opposing defensive backs, but no team has been victimized by the Detroit Lakes native more often than the Green Bay Packers.
Thielen has played in 10 career games against the Packers, hauling in 52 passes for 692 yards and four touchdowns. The thing is, though, that he's done most of that damage – 78% of those receptions and 80% of the yards – in just four games.
Four of the last five games, to be exact, with the lone exception being a Week 16 game during Minnesota's 13-win 2017 in which Thielen was fighting nagging injuries.
- 8 catches, 125 yards, 1 TD
- 12 catches, 131 yards, 1 TD
- 2 catches, 24 yards
- 9 catches, 96 yards
- 12 catches, 202 yards, 2 TD
Why so dominant against the Packers?
It's not like Thielen hasn't shredded other defenses, but the Star Tribune's Mark Craig might've uncovered the reason Thielen always seems to shine against Minnesota's border rival: The Packers nearly selected Thielen in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Unlike his childhood idol Randy Moss, Thielen didn't indicate in the story that he holds a grudge against the Packers or every other team in the league for passing on him in the draft. Moss, famously, was out to dominate every opponent, but none more than the 20 teams that led him slide to the Vikings in the 1998 draft.
Statistically, Thielen's reception and yardage totals against Green Bay are significantly greater than the two teams he's played just as often, Detroit and Chicago.
- Thielen against Detroit: 35 catches, 401 yards, 1 TD
- Thielen against Chicago: 28 catches, 314 yards, 1 TD
It also helps that Thielen has been targeted more frequently and has a higher catch rate against Green Bay than versus the Lions or Bears, which also points to the defensive struggles the Cheeseheads have head the past two seasons.