Former Vikings corner played a key role in Bengals upset of Steelers

(Photo by Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) Mackensie Alexander
(Photo by Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) Mackensie Alexander /

Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander shined on Monday night.

This past offseason, the Minnesota Vikings parted ways with the top three players on the 2019 cornerback depth chart. Out the door went Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander.

Rhodes ended up signing a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts while Waynes and Alexander both landed contracts with the Cincinnati Bengals.

During their first seasons in a different uniform, Rhodes has been helping the Colts challenge for a spot in the playoffs, Waynes has missed the entire year due to injury, and Alexander has been a part of a Bengals secondary that currently ranks 20th in the NFL against the pass.

Former Minnesota Vikings corner helps new team pull off a Monday night upset

Despite Cincinnati struggling quite a bit this season, they were able to get a big upset win over the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night. Thanks in part to Alexander, the Bengals were able to pick up just their third victory of the year by defeating the Steelers by a final score of 27-17.

Alexander finished the night with six tackles and two pass breakups, but he made his biggest impact in the second quarter when he managed to pick off a pass thrown by Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The former Vikings corner snatched the ball out of the air and returned it 21 yards the other way. Despite not turning the pick into a touchdown, Alexander still decided to celebrate his play in a bit of an over-the-top way.

The high steps before the end of the play probably weren’t necessary, but the former Minnesota cornerback hasn’t had too many opportunities to celebrate this season due to Cincinnati’s struggles.

For the Bengals this year, Alexander has appeared in 12 games and he’s accumulated a total of 46 tackles (career-high), six pass breakups, and that lone interception that he grabbed on Monday night.

His performance in coverage has been relatively similar to how he did during his time with the Vikings. Alexander has allowed a 71.4 completion percentage to his coverage and opposing quarterbacks have an 83.2 passer rating when throwing in his direction this season.

Unfortunately, Minnesota wasn’t able to figure out a way to keep him on their roster this year. Alexander certainly would have been a big help for a Vikings secondary that currently ranks 24th against the pass this season.