3 unsung heroes from the Carolina Panthers triumph vs. Texans in Week 8

Adam Thielen
Adam Thielen / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Adam Thielen - Carolina Panthers WR

When the Carolina Panthers brought in Adam Thielen following his release from the Minnesota Vikings, he was seen as a stable veteran presence capable of providing assistance at an important time. However, there were also concerns about how much the wide receiver had left in the tank.

Thielen's proved all his doubters wrong and more over the opening seven games. All he does is produce, which was the case once again versus the Houston Texans en route to leading the Panthers in receiving yards.

While other members of the passing attack had issues with drops, Thielen was almost flawless. And when quarterback Bryce Young needed a big conversion, he went to the former undrafted free agent out of Minnesota State more often than not.

Thielen finished the day with eight receptions from 11 targets for 72 receiving yards. He remains a strong candidate for Pro Bowl consideration and to finish with more than 1,000 yards - a best-case scenario in no uncertain terms.

Young and the Panthers will continue to lean on Theilen heavily until they can acquire stronger reinforcements. He seems to be relishing being a legitimate No. 1 option after so long playing second fiddle to the likes of Stefon Diggs and Justin Jefferson, even if it's not exactly ideal for Carolina given their high hopes for others not reaching the level expected.