Belichick challenged the call - unsuccessfully - but not before Patriots safety Patrick Chung went down with an injury, a move Thielen believed was designed exclusively to give New England more time to mull over throwing the red flag.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, center, appeals to side judge Adrian Hill, left, Sunday during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
The Patriots were able to come away with a 24-10 win to improve to 9-3 on the year and Brady was particularly impressed with the play of the defense.
After the game, Thielen said he believed Chung was likely faking the injury in order to give his coaching staff more time to watch replays before making the decision to challenge. He can think what he wants to think about me, and it doesn't really change how I'm going to go play the game. "I wasn't directing it toward him".
"We've just got to be more consistent", he said.
Nevertheless, Zimmer, who calls the Vikings' defensive plays during games, said he needs to "do a better job" of paying attention to what DeFilippo's offense is doing. We had him in some tough situations where we were counting on him to make plays sometimes by himself with no help and he showed up. Why not? It's not cheating because there's no rule against it from a guy going down, and I don't know if he was hurt or not. I don't know if he was hurt or not. That's fine. It is what it is. "I just went along with it".
Thielen did regret the outburst.
"It takes a lot for him to say something to you". I just give a lot of credit to the offensive line. I can't lose [my temper] like that. Belichick did challenge the play, but the spot was not overturned by the replay review. "So for me, I just lost my emotions".
Belichick appeared to shout back at Thielen to, "Shut the _ up". "That's what I'm most excited about", Brady said, seeming a little bemused. Then I can go talk to the offense all I want.
"Hopefully I don't go backwards next week", Brady said. "I'm going to try to go out and do my best, and I'm going to try and compete every play".
Outside of the sideline spat, Thielen was a significant story in this game for his lack of production. According to PFF, he threw for just 152 yards on his 33 attempts from a clean pocket, with his touchdown to Thielen and an interception among those attempts. The Vikings receiver, however, took ownership of the exchange. But the Patriots struggled a bit from there, and the Vikings got even on a touchdown pass by quarterback Kirk Cousins to Thielen just before halftime and a third-quarter field goal by kicker Dan Bailey.