5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Cincinnati Bengals – Week 1

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson /

Thielen and Jefferson will each have 100 yards receiving

If Kirk Cousins is going to have a big day, his top targets will have to carry the load. In the aftermath of Irv Smith Jr.’s season-ending injury, the production will come from Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.

Cincinnati’s secondary was overmatched last season, and now they’ll go into this year missing several of their starters. Former No. 1 corner William Jackson signed with Washington last spring, and former Viking Trae Waynes has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

In their place will be Chidobe Awuzie and Eli Apple. Awuzie was a free-agent pick-up from the Dallas Cowboys that allowed a 124.5 passer rating when targeted and 1.58 yards per coverage snap last season. Apple wasn’t much better, playing 28 total snaps with the Carolina Panthers in 2020.

With their secondary depleted, Jefferson and Thielen should have no problem getting open. If the Vikings are aggressive on offense, it’s a good chance for everyone to feast on Sunday.