The Thielen Mystery, Irv Smith, Now What?


Questions Answered: The Thielen Mystery, Irv Smith, Now What?
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the September 20th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected]

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

November 28, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Well, if you listen to Thielen, he puts the onus on him. He said to reporters after the Monday Night Football loss, “I got to look myself in the mirror. The first thing I do is go look myself in the mirror, go watch the film and see what I could have done better to get open.”

It’s also the first time Thielen has experienced a new offense in his career, and it may be too coincidental to assume that has nothing to do with his lack of targets.

Thielen is the 11th highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL per 2022 cap hit, so the Vikings must use his talents sooner than later. He’ll likely receive ample targets in Week 3 — hopefully not the garbage-time kind.

Q: Is patience wearing thin on Irv Smith?

Oct 18, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Smith had a bad, game-changing drop. It happens.

It doesn’t help that the 24-year-old that 2022 is the final year of his contract. He’ll need to redeem himself in the next 15 games to ensure a spot on the 2023 Vikings roster at the pricepoint he prefers.

The Vikings are working Smith gradually into the offense, and he was the victim of a bad moment in a nationally-televised game. He has time for redemption.

Q: Are you panicked about the Vikings awful loss in Philadelphia?

Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

A: No. It is better for the loss to happen now than in December or January.

That statement assumes the Vikings are good at all, as most believed the team was trending upward after defeating Green Bay so handily in Week 1. The next few games will illustrate if the Vikings are contenders or pretenders.

What we don’t want to see? Another 8-9 season, trapped in claustrophobic mediocrity. That’s the worse. Responding against an upstart Detroit Lions will be vital, and we believe Minnesota will do just that.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).


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