But during a sub-standard 5-catch, 28-yard performance against the New England Patriots on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, the receiver's frustration showed when he got into a verbal confrontation with Pats coach Bill Belichick.
At the same time, Patriots safety Patrick Chung was down on the field with injury, and Thielen seemed to be complaining about Chung being down, preventing the Vikings from snapping the ball to keep the Patriots from challenging.
Belichick responded immediately, and appeared to tell Thielen to "shut the f*** up" before the Vikings' receiver got into an argument with Patriots edge rusher Kyle Van Noy. "Just interesting timing for a guy to go down when it's a close play". Why not? It's not cheating because there's no rule against it from a guy going down. "For me, I just lost my emotions". The Vikings coach changed his tune on what he said previously and offered a different explanation as to why the game got out of reach. Elandon Roberts drew the attention for blowing up Dalvin Cook on the Vikings' first play of the game from scrimmage, but Jackson also deserves credit for letting Treadwell know what he was in for. "It just lets you all know how passionate he is". He has the ability to get his hands on the ball and judge the ball and make good plays on the ball, like he did on I think it was the third down play where he kind of went up over Robinson's back to get his hands on the ball and bat it away. "That's a good challenge by [Mike] Zimmer, a smart challenge actually because it makes you line up on third down, and makes you waste one of your two-point plays where you direct-snap it to a running back".
"No offense taken. It's football". I can't lose [my temper] like that. "He can hate me all he wants, and I'm going to still be the same person I am". The Vikings receiver, however, took ownership of the exchange. With a lead, the Patriots were able to mix up the run and pass.
Kirk Cousins finished 32 of 44 for 201 yards and touchdown for Minnesota, but had two late interceptions.
Afterwards, Belichick was asked if the conflict resulted from 'two competitive people exchanging holiday greetings'.
"Yeah, pretty much", Belichick said with the slightest hint of a grin.