With the 2021 NFL offseason now almost behind us, here is what I think the Minnesota Vikings NEED to do in order to start off 1-0, and win at the Cincinnati Bengals
The Vikings are WAY better then the Bengals. That’s the bottom line. Minnesota just needs to execute a good gameplan to beat a bottom 5 team in the league. Zimmer knows this, and needs to give his guys a good gameplan.
Gameplan and Playcalling
Zimmer is one of the best defensive head coaches in the NFL. His game plan needs to showcase that to stop Burrow and Mixon. Now for the offensive play calling. Kubiak was terrible in the pre-season with this, and that is the bottom line. It needs to be better, better plays need to be called, and the plays need to be executed.
Take Advantage of the Weak Cornerbacks
Trae Waynes was announced as officially out week 1. That leaves the Bengals starting corners as former Cowboy Chidobe Awuzie, who had a terrible 2020 campaign, and veteran and former Saint and Giant, Eli Apple, who Adam Thielen DESTROYED in their last matchup, going for over 150 yards and 2 TD’s. Take advantage of the weak spot and destroy it. I expect BOTH Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson to have 100+ yards and at least 1 TD, and I expect the TE’s of Tyler Conklin and Chris Herndon to ball out as well.
Cornerbacks to play well
The Vikings biggest weak spot is our corners. Patrick Peterson is a old veteran, who still CAN be good, but needs to show it. Kris Boyd had a great pre season and has taken over the CB4 spot. Mackensie Alexander, the former Bengal needs to play good in the slot. Bashaud Breeland, the former Chief needs to step up and show 2020 wasn’t a fluke and he can be the future at CB. Harrison Hand will not play much, but when he does he needs to take advantage of his opportunities and play like the demon he is. And then, there is Cameron Dantzler. The bust of the preseason. He had a absolutely AMAZING rookie year, but is making bad reads, getting burned on streak plays, receivers are getting above him and outside of him and making plays, and he was moved from CB1 on the depth chart, to CB5, only in front of Harrison Hand, for now. He needs to fix it and fix it now.