Rejoice Bengals fans! It’s week one and the long wait-for every fanbase is finally over. No one wants to leave the field for the first time 0-1 so lets take a look at the players who will have the most say in that outcome on Sunday.
As any teams starting quarterback, this comes as no surprise, they’realways on watch. And of course all eyes will be on Joe Burrow especially as he makes his comeback from a torn ACL. Burrow is one of the most critical players to the Bengals future and immediate success. The team needs him to pick up where he left off in his rookie season relatively quickly. Burrow will need to perform well against a tough Vikings defense if Cincy wants to keep pace with Minnesota’s offense. Wins start at the Quarterback and for a team with not very many of them, Burrow is a pivotal piece for the Bengals this year.
The Bengals have said they plan on using Joe Mixon alot this season and on Sunday we’ll find out if that’s true or not. It’s important to get the run game going early and create an effective balanced offense to take the pressure off of Joe Burrow coming back from an injury. The Vikings defense is no joke with stars on each level along the defensive line, line backer unit, and secondary. Joe Mixon will be put to the test with a challenging matchup but if Mixon has a good game, the Bengals offense will be able to be unpredictable and likely thrive.
With already one disadvantage on the defense in the secondary, luckily there is actually an advantage in favor of the Bengals defense. Trey Hendrickson will be facing Vikings backup tackle Rashod Hill who is filling in for injured rookie Christian Darrisaw. Hendrickson needs to return the favor to the Bengals for his big contract given in the offseason and take advantage of this matchup and disrupt Kirk Cousins. If Trey Hendrickson is successful in pressuring the QB this will take some weight off of the secondary who is missing starter Trae Waynes.
The Bengals are at a disadvantage in the secondary with Trae Waynes out. Backup Eli Apple will be tasked with handling Justin Jefferson and Adam Theilen. He needs to hold his own or else this could be an ugly day for the Bengals defense, Cincy already has their hands full with Dalvin Cook.
After the dust settles and the smoke from the Paul Brown Stadium fireworks clears and if the Bengals are walking away with a win, it will likely be because these four players had a huge hand in the game.