Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The 7-9 Vikings finished last season with a defenseless effective than its offense
- A healthy QB Joe Burrow is now back under center in Cincinnati
- The last time these two met was in 2017 when the Vikings whooped the Bengals, 34-7
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Vikings vs Bengals Odds
Odds taken 1 Sep, 2021 from DraftKings Sportsbook
|Minnesota Vikings||-3 |
|Cincinnati Bengals||+3 |
Vikings vs Bengals Predictions and Picks
This is bound to be a close one, so take the home team with the points and count on a healthy Joe Burrow and his Bengals to take advantage of this rehabbed Vikings D before it can gel.
How to Watch Vikings vs Bengals
|Vikings vs Bengals Information|
|Teams||Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals|
|Where||Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio|
|When||Sunday, September 12, 2021; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX|
The Minnesota Vikings finished last season with a 7-9 record thanks to an injury-riddled defense that was not quite as effective as the offense, an imbalance which led HC Mike Zimmer and company to an ugly third place NFC North finish and no postseason, so a Week 1 win here could help build back some lost confidence.
Now that a healthy QB Joe Burrow is back under center in Cincinnati, the team is counting on his leadership, so expect he and fellow LSU alum Ja’Marr Chase to put on a show against this Vikings’ secondary, that is if Chase the rookie can keep from dropping the ball the way he did four times in a row this preseason.
The last time these two teams played was during the 2017 season when the Vikings whooped the Bengals 34-7 in front of a Minnesota hometown crowd, so expect Cincinnati (the underdog here) to do its best to return the favor in Week 1 at Paul Brown Stadium.
Can the Vikings Defense Play Better Than it Did Last Season?
By the end of last season, the Vikings’ defense was ranked 27th under the defensive coordinator combo of Adam Zimmer and Andre Patterson, mainly thanks to injuries that resulted in limited snaps for playmakers like Danielle Hunter and Michael Pierce.
The two DC’s are set to change that this season with a healthy start that now includes Dalvin Tomlinson and Sheldon Richardson, two veteran free agent defensive tackles who can get after the quarterback as well as take-down runners.
Last season, the Vikings’ defense allowed opponents to score almost thirty points a game, so no matter how effective QB Kirk Cousins and RB Dalvin Cook were, it was always tough to outscore the other team, a situation HC Mike Zimmer hopes to avoid in 2021.
Can Rookie Receiver Ja’Marr Chase Get Over His Yips?
Nobody expected rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to drop so many passes from QB Joe Burrow this offseason, the LSU alum letting four balls in a row slip through his hands in preseason games, causing slight doubts that this kid will be ready to play in Week 1.
Chase is excellent, and the reason he was a first-round pick by the Bengals is because of his impressive LSU resume where over three seasons he caught 107 passes for almost 2,100 yards and 23 touchdowns, many of those being thrown by his current quarterback Burrow.
So why all the dropped balls this preseason? Most likely just the ‘yips,’ a mental condition that can only be fixed with repetitions and catches and game time, something Chase will most likely get this season on a struggling Bengals team searching desperately for its next deep threat.
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Vikings Key Player: (DE) Danielle Hunter
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter spent all of last season on injured reserve and injuring his neck in early September and undergoing surgery to “clean up” a herniated disc in his neck.
The season prior, Hunter had 14.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery on top of 70 total tackles, a threat to opposing quarterbacks and running backs alike.
After ten months of recovery and rehab, Hunter says he is “100% healthy” and feeling ready to play, but whether he’s in “football shape” enough to get back on the field right away will be a game-time decision that HC Zimmer will most likely make with a big picture view in mind.
Bengals Key Player: (LT) Jonah Williams
One of the main reasons the Cincinnati Bengals offense struggled towards the second half of last season was because QB Joe Burrow tore his ACL and MCL in Week 11, the result of being a rookie quarterback with poor protection from his front line.
That’s where third-year left tackle Jonah Williams, the former unanimous Alabama All-American who stands at 6’ 4” and weighs in at over 300 pounds, needs to step up as Burrow’s blindside help.
In ten games last year, Burrow was sacked 32 times, and that is something that Williams has got to work on this season because the offense depends on their QB staying vertical and Burrow must begin to feel safe in his own pocket.
More Games to Watch on Week 1
- Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs
- Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills
- Arizona Cardinals vs Tennessee Titans
- Seattle Seahawks vs Indianapolis Colts
- Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints
- Chicago Bears vs Los Angeles Rams
- Baltimore Ravens vs Las Vegas Raiders
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]