(WCCO) The Vikings are on the road this weekend, but how was it playing their first game without fans? Adam Thielen concedes it was a challenge.
"It was a lot different obviously. It was a little bit different trying to get that juice, get going, things like that. Obviously we miss our fans. We've got the greatest fans in football. That stadium, when it's full and our fans are rocking it's the best. They get us ramped up and ready to play. It was a lot different but it is what is is ...We gotta figure it out fast and how to get each other going because that's going to be the reality right now."
The other thing that's going to be different this week is that Thielen is playing against a former teammate.
This week Thielen faces off against Colts cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who he used to play with on the Vikings. They both joined the Vikings in 2013 and pundits say they helped each other become Pro Bowlers.
How does Thielen feel about the match-up? He told Vikings.com that even though they'll be foes on the field Rhodes helped make him who he is.
"Shoot, I can go back to day one in the Vikings organization at rookie camp [in 2013], going against him every single day. Pretty much from there on, looking at my practice squad year, going against him every day, and then moving forward in training camp and things like that," Thielen said. "Honestly, he's probably been a big part of who I am today because he's challenged me, he's pushed me, he's made things very difficult on me. That's what helps you become a better football player when you have a challenge like that, you're constantly having to perform your best and having to get better, so I give him honestly a lot of credit for helping me become the player I am today."
Last week, Thielen had 110 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in the loss to the Green Packers.
Still, Thielen was hard on himself, telling WCCO "there's no excuse for the way we played." He added: "There's nothing better than winning and nothing worse than losing."
Immediately after the game he told reporters,
"There’s situations that dictate stats and things like that. Let’s be honest, let’s not overreact to that game because we were playing from way behind,” Thielen told reporters, via Vikings.com. “They were playing soft coverage, they were giving us a lot of stuff because of the situation of the game. I wouldn’t say it was a strong game, things like that. I know that’s how this league works, there’s a lot of over hype or under hype based on stats. I’m a realist and I also know that situations dictate stats sometimes.”
What was different about the second half and what does it mean for this week?
Thielen said they didn't get the ball alot in the first half and when they did, they didn't move the ball well. Eventually, they started making plays and that's the kind of play fans should expect this weekend.
"It's a team game, that's why football is such a great game ... Excited to get back out there and go compete with my teammates," he said.