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 Greg Fiume/Getty Images) Joe Mixon /

Vikings will hold Bengals under 100 yards rushing

After Alvin Kamara gutted the Vikings defense for six touchdowns on Christmas Day, Mike Zimmer marched into Rick Spielman’s office and demanded some defensive linemen. While the Vikings were already banking on the return of Michael Pierce, they doubled down with the addition of Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency.

On Sunday, the Vikings revamped defensive line should pay off. The Bengals come into Week 1 with Quenton Spain and Xavier Su’a-Filo starting at guard. Last season, Spain ranked 42nd among qualifying guards in PFF’s run-blocking grades, and Su’a-Filo wasn’t far behind at 77th.

Both will be tasked with creating holes for Joe Mixon to run through, but the fifth-year back totaled just 3.6 yards per carry last season.

With the Vikings adding 658 pounds in the middle of their defensive line, it’s going to be tough sledding for the Bengals running game. If Cincinnati falls behind early, the ground game could become a non-factor.