Instant analysis from Bengals’ win vs. Vikings in Week 1

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
Instant analysis from Bengals’ win vs. Vikings in Week 1
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Cincinnati Bengals emerged winners in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, 27-24.

Joe Burrow and Co. got off to a slow start before developing some momentum while the Vikings continually shot themselves in the foot. The Bengals coughed up a 21-7 lead and went to overtime, only to see the wildly swinging game run under two minutes until a tie before pulling out the win.

Here’s a look at some quick analysis of the game’s happenings, including notes, key numbers and takeaways.

Quick Hits

— Think home-field advantage isn’t that big of a deal? Bengals fans helped cause two false starts over Minnesota’s three opening snaps.

— Four penalties by Minnesota’s offense on its opening drive. D.J. Reader has a sack if he doesn’t get held. He’s back in elite form.

— First play to Ja’Marr Chase on the day was a handoff-styled sweep. No gain. But it avoided the drops issue in a pretty smart manner.

— B.J. Hill and Larry Ogunjobi got home for pressures/sacks on a first-quarter drive. Two newcomers showing up big for what looks like a much-improved pass-rush up front.

— Bad showing for the Bengals offense in the first quarter, with one big disclaimer — that was always going to be the case. Minnesota is hard to run against and the coaches want to protect Burrow with quick throws, which the Vikings understood.

— Eli Apple got taken for a ride on the Vikings’ first touchdown, failing to clean up a tackle, getting hit with a flag and then giving up a touchdown. The Bengals miss Trae Waynes terribly, to say the least.

— Ja’Marr Chase with two big catches on a scoring drive. Any drop concerns are fully over.

— Burrow hit Tee Higgins for the touchdown score before the half. Higgins is the likely big breakout candidate this year and guy who should end up leading the team in receiving.

— Speaking of Chase, his first NFL touchdown was a beauty.

Joe Mixon’s score wasn’t pretty while the Bengals went up 21-7, but it was exactly what the team wants — big-time plays through the air that get them in range before a violent scoring finish.

— Burrow limped off the field at one point after the Bengals inexplicably had Drew Sample blocking a defensive end by himself. Burrow took a bad hit and limped off, but returned. It’s the type of risk the team shouldn’t be taking at all.

— The defense got beat over the middle via the passing game all game, which is something Lou Anarumo will need to fix ASAP — other teams will run with the idea now that it’s on film.

— In overtime, Burrow took sack No. 5. He’s hesitant on some of his throws, but it’s pretty clear the offensive line isn’t good enough either — not even close.

— Keep an eye out for Burrow health updates. Zac Taylor went from going for it on his own 30 yard line earlier in the game to the most conservative stuff we’ve seen late when the game was on the line.

— Jessie Bates with the big hit that forced a fumble with the Vikings setting up for a field goal to win it in overtime.

Key Stat

127: Rushing yards by Joe Mixon, who had himself a day and was key in running the clock late. He’s the heart of the offense and it showed.

Game Ball

Joe Burrow: Who else? He was accurate all day with just one notable exception, looked comfortable despite the surgically repaired leg and diced up the Vikings, including the touchdowns to Higgins and Chase.

Top Takeaway

Baby steps: Win or lose, the line looked improved but still needs work. Burrow was fun to watch but there’s some rust to knock off. The defense looked superb but the weak points like Apple need addressed. Most coaching calls were good, but the bad ones were disastrous. The Bengals are going places — provided the little issues get ironed out quickly.

List

Vikings vs. Bengals preview: 7 things to know about Week 1