3 favorable matchups for the Vikings in Week 1 vs. the Bengals

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Sheldon Richardson /

Vikings DL vs. Bengals OL

Joe Burrow went down with a torn ACL midway through his rookie season, and many around the league thought that would be the clear indicator that the Bengals would improve his offensive line heading into this season. Instead, Cincinnati opted to draft Ja’Marr Chase over Penei Sewell.

Sewell was the top offensive tackle in the class, but the Bengals gifted Burrow his college teammate in Chase to bring more fireworks to the passing game. That decision may soon backfire with how poor the line was last season.

The Vikings get Danielle Hunter and Michael Pierce back on the defensive line while also bringing back Sheldon Richardson and Everson Griffen. Dalvin Tomlinson, a massive defensive tackle, was also signed in free agency and should be a huge factor in the run game. With five excellent options up front and fresh legs behind them, Minnesota should dominate the trenches.

Burrow and Mixon will not be comfortable all afternoon with Minnesota’s big guys breathing down their necks. This is a nice change of pace from what we saw out of Minnesota last season, but Mike Zimmer is finally getting back to his old self.

Week 1 will be a good starting point to get their feet wet and settle into the season. If they struggle against the Bengals, then we may be in for another very long season.