5 best non-divisional matchups on the Vikings 2021 schedule
Vikings at Bengals – Week 1
The season opener kicks things off with a manageable opponent for the Vikings, and the reunion of two former teammates both regarded among the best at their position in their respective draft classes.
The first wide receiver matchup of the season is none other than the battle of former LSU Tigers, Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase.
Both played crucial roles in current Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s college success. Jefferson and Chase combined for more than 3,200 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns in 2019 alone, each accounting for roughly 50 percent of the totals.
Many people have Chase ranked as the best receiver in his class, and Jefferson is coming off of a statement rookie season that has some thinking he is the next elite Vikings wideout. With these two going head-to-head to start the year, fans have the opportunity to evaluate which pass-catcher could make a bigger impact for their team right away in 2021.
Cornerback Mackensie Alexander returned to Minnesota this offseason after a brief stint with the Bengals in 2020, and he could provide very valuable insight into the weaknesses of Cincinnati’s defensive scheme.
The Vikings’ defense immediately faces a challenge in their secondary with this matchup, giving fans their first look at newly acquired cornerback Patrick Peterson and the sophomore season for Cam Dantzler. Chase, along with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, form a threatening trio for the Bengals that will likely need each Minnesota defensive back to do their part in coverage.
The first revenge game is awarded to Alexander, and there’s a pretty good chance he won’t be upset with his return to Paul Brown Stadium.