While the argument that Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are the league’s best receiving duo might be met with some pushback in some NFL outposts (like Los Angeles, for example), the duo is roundly regarded as one of the league’s top pairs.

Last weekend in Philadelphia, they put perhaps the main driver of their production on display once again.

Neither Thielen nor Diggs is the NFL’s biggest receiver (they’re 6-foot-2 and six feet, respectively), and while both boast 40-yard dash times below 4.5 seconds, neither is seen as a pure burner. But both have enough size and speed to be lethal when they’re able to combine those traits with perhaps what they do best: gain separation from cornerbacks.

Thielen burned Jalen Mills for a 68-yard gain on Sunday, kicking off a three-play touchdown drive that began on the Vikings’ 5, and Diggs flashed his ability to get in and out of his breaks without losing much speed on a 10-catch, 91-yard day.

And while offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said the Vikings do plenty to try and scheme receivers open, he placed much of Diggs and Thielen’s success on innate ability.

“To me, you are either born with that or you’re not,” DeFilippo said. “There are some elite receivers in this league that really struggle with those types of routes. I was doing an interview the other day with somebody from USA Today about Adam Thielen and they were talking to me about how versatile he is. I said, “He has the traits of an elite slot receiver and an elite outside receiver.” You just don’t find that very often. A lot of guys are either one or the other. I am either a really good inside player and I’m just a so-so outside player or vice versa. He has elite traits that both of those spots on the field. We are just really, really glad he is on our football team.”

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Diggs is averaging 3.2 yards of separation from the nearest defender at the time of his targets this season, while Thielen is getting 3.1 yards. Those figures aren’t at the top of the league, but given the number of short and intermediate routes both players runs (Thielen’s average route is 9.2 yards, while Diggs’ is 9.1), they’ve shown a key ability to get away from defenders in tight areas.

And on plays like Thielen’s 68-yarder, both receivers can sink their hips and get back up to top speed quickly.

“You know if you are running a vertical double move, you need speed and be able to drop your hips,” DeFilippo said. “When you are running a double move, it’s not the first move that is most important. It is the move coming out of the double move. You have to drop your hips. If you watch Adam on that play, you have to drop your hips. But then you have to get that speed going back vertical again to create that separation to answer your question. It’s the second move in double moves are the most important. Our guys showed the ability to be able to do that. With that being said, we line up our guys everywhere so we try to scheme them open as well. I think it’s a combination of both. I think it’s a combination of both. When you have guys that are talented as those two guys, it makes it fun to be able to be creative.”

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