New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick had some not-so-nice words for Minnesota Vikings receiver Adam Thielen in the fourth quarter of their Week 13 matchup.
Shortly after Belichick challenged a play, he was shown on the Fox broadcast yelling at Thielen. You didn’t have to be an expert at lip reading to tell he said “shut the fuck up.”
Bill Belichick tells Adam Thielen to shut the fuck up. #gopats #skol #MINvsNE pic.twitter.com/3neTLgc5YG— 49 Cent Banana (30-19) NFL Bets (@49CentBanana) December 2, 2018
How did it get to that point?
The Vikings converted a fourth down with a Latavius Murray run, but Belichick decided to challenge the ruling that he made the line to gain. The problem was that it took Belichick forever to find his challenge flag:
Bill Belichick trying to find and then take his challenge flag out of his sock may be the most tense moment from Vikings-Patriots pic.twitter.com/xb7UHMWjpQ— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) December 3, 2018
That should’ve allowed the Vikings more than enough time to run a play and keep the Patriots from challenging, but safety Patrick Chung went down with an injury. That gave Belichick enough time to rummage through his sock and challenge the play.
Thielen didn’t like that, and one reporter said the Vikings receiver was telling an official near the Patriots sideline “that’s bullshit.”
Belichick overheard, hence the yelling.
The play ended up working out for the Vikings when officials upheld the ruling on the field, costing the Patriots a timeout. But New England held on to win, 24-10, and Thielen finished with just 28 receiving yards on five receptions. He did score the Vikings’ only touchdown of the day, though.
After the game, Thielen brushed off the exchange, telling reporters he was upset with Chung getting hurt when he did. He called it “cheap,” but did acknowledge that Chung might have actually been hurt.
“I wasn’t directing it toward [Belichick],” Thielen said after the game. “I just thought the play was cheap. But like I said, I let the emotions get the best of me because it’s a smart football play if you are in that situation. 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. He might have been hurt.”
Belichick had, predictably, little to say about the incident. When asked in his postgame presser if the two had been “exchanging holiday greetings,” Belichick replied, “Yeah, pretty much.”
Safety Devin McCourty offered a little more.
“Bill’s fiery,” he said. “We see it every day, so I think it’s probably a lot cooler for you guys to see it.”
Unless there’s a Super Bowl matchup in their future, the Vikings and Patriots won’t see each other again for four years. So the Thielen and Belichick feud began and ended in all of about five seconds.