What are some key matchups that the Minnesota Vikings need to win in order to secure a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and stay strong in the playoff race?
It was an ugly win this past Sunday for the Minnesota Vikings against the Las Vegas Raiders, but a win is a win, and now the Vikings have shifted their focus to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Similar to Minnesota, the Bengals are missing their starting quarterback, as star signal-caller Joe Burrow is out for the season due to a ligament injury in his throwing hand. A familiar face is starting under for Cincinnati now, as Jake Browning was originally a UDFA who signed with Minnesota back in 2019.
Even with no Burrow, the Bengals are still a formidable team and shouldn't be overlooked, similar to the Vikings after Kirk Cousins went down.
With a tough game ahead of them, what are some key matchups that Minnesota needs to win on Saturday in order to secure their eighth victory on the season and stay the course in the playoff race?
Matchup 1 - Vikings Secondary vs. Ja'Marr Chase
Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase is a superstar in the NFL, it's as simple as that. Even when Chase is having an off-and-on season like he is this year, he is still sitting above 1,000 receiving yards, showing just how elite he is as a player.
Chase is also going to be extra motivated going into this matchup, as he is best friends with Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, and he'll be looking to try and prove that he is currently the top wide receiver in the NFL.
The Vikings did a solid job against Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams last week, and they now need to plan for another elite game-changer in Chase.
Stopping Chase is unlikely, but slowing him down and limiting his impact is something that Minnesota just proved they can do against an elite receiver in Adams. It will be a hard task, but Brian Flores' defense has shown that they are more than up for the challenge.