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NFL Week 1 Primer: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Minnesota Vikings

Stats, facts and everything else you need to know for when the Bengals host the Vikings in Week 1.

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Miami Dolphins v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Bengals and their fans finally get to see Joe Burrow back on the field in a game where he’ll throw more than a singe pass. The former first-overall pick will have the team on his shoulders following his ACL injury that ended his rookie campaign prematurely last season.

He will get quite the welcome to the field as Mike Zimmer will be returning to Cincinnati for the first time in the regular season. The Vikings head coach is now seven years removed from his extremely productive run as the Bengals’ defensive coordinator. He will put quite a bit of pressure on Burrow, which means it is up to Frank Pollack’s offensive line to show they are up to the challenge.

Everything you need to know for when the Bengals host the Vikings:

Game: Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-0)

Date/Time: Sep. 12th, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EST

Location: Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio

Series Leader: The Vikings lead the series 7-6

Streak: The Vikings have won the two of the past three meetings

Coaches vs. Opponent: Zac Taylor: (0-0). Mike Zimmer (1-0)

Television: The game will air on FOX-TV. In the Bengals’ home region, it will be carried by WXIX-TV (Ch. 19) in Cincinnati, WGRT-TV (Ch. 45) in Dayton, WDKY-TV (Ch. 56) in Lexington, and WTTE-TV (Ch. 28) in Columbus.

Broadcasters: Chris Myers (play-by-play), Daryl Johnston (analyst) and Jennifer Hale (reporter).

Online Stream: Use a free trial of fuboTV to watch the game.

Radio Broadcast: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7).

Broadcasters: Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

SB Nation the Vikings’ site: Daily Norseman

Weather: Mid 80’s, mostly cloudy [NFL weather]

Odds: Bengals open, +3.5 [Odds Shark]

Bengals Notes

  • Quarterback Joe Burrow passed for 2,688 yards and 13 touchdowns in 10 games last season, both stats were second-most among rookies. He had five games with over 300 passing yards, which was tied for third-most ever by a rookie. He had 1,148 passing yards (287 per game) and eight touchdowns (six passing and two rushing) with three interceptions for a 95.8 passer rating in four home games last season.
  • Running back Joe Mixon is one of three AFC running backs (Melvin Gordon and Kareem Hunt) with over 3,000 rushing yards (3,359) and 1,000 receiving yards (1,008) since 2017. He has at least 75 yards from scrimmage in two of his last three games against the NFC.
  • Wide receiver Tyler Boyd led the team with 79 catches and had 841 receiving yards last season. He is one of six wide receiver with at least 75 catches in each of the past three seasons. Wide receiver Tee Higgins ranked third among rookies with 67 catches in 2020, which tied Cincinnati’s rookie record set by Cris Collinsworth in 1981. He also led the team with 908 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was selected fifth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
  • Safety Vonn Bell led the team with a career-high in tackles (114) and forced fumbles (three) in 2020. Safety Jessie Bates III had 107 tackles and led the team with three picks last season. He is one of four safeties with at least three interceptions in each of the past three seasons. Bell and Bates were one of two pairs of defensive back teammates each with 100 tackles in 2020. Cornerback Mike Hilton makes his Bengals debut. He set career highs in interceptions (three) and sacks (three) in 2020 with the Steelers.
  • Defensive end Trey Hendrickson also makes his Cincinnati debut. He tied for second in the NFL with a career-high 13.5 sacks with the Saints last season. Defensive end Sam Hubbard has 22 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks over his three-year career.

Vikings Notes

  • Quarterback Kirk Cousins had 4,265 pass yards and a career-high 35 passing touchdowns in 2020. He is the only quarterback with at least 25 touchdown passes in each of the past six seasons. Cousins passed for a career-high 458 yards and two touchdowns with only a single interception (97.2 passer rating) in his only career start against the Bengals (10/30/16 with Washington)
  • Running back Dalvin Cook ranked second in yards from scrimmage (1,918) and rushing yards (1,557) last season. He was also tied for second in rushing touchdowns (16). All three were career highs. He led the NFL with six games with 150 total yards in 2020. He had 10 touchdowns (nine rushing and one receiving) in seven road games last season.
  • Wide receiver Justin Jefferson had an NFL rookie-record 1,400 receiving yards and led rookies with 88 receptions in 2020. He became the fourth rookie ever to have seven games with 100 receiving yards. Wide receiver Adam Thielen had 74 receptions for 925 yards and ranked third in the NFL with a career-high 14 receiving touchdowns last season. He had six touchdown catches in eight road games in 2020.
  • Defensive end Danielle Hunter had 14.5 sacks in both 2018 and 2019. In 2019, he became the youngest player (25 years and 40 days) since 1982 to reach 50 career sacks. He had a sack the last time he faced the Bengals. Linebacker Eric Kendricks had his fifth-consecutive season with over 100 tackles (107) in 2020. He is the only player with 500 tackles (547) and 40 passes defended since 2016. He had a 31-yard interception returned for a touchdown the last time he faced Cincinnati. Linebacker Anthony Barr has 15 sacks, eight forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his seven-year NFL career.
  • Cornerback Patrick Peterson makes his Vikings debut. He is tied for third among active players with 28 career-interceptions. Safety Harrison Smith had 89 tackles, 10 passes defended and a team-high five interceptions last season. He is the only active player with over 25 interceptions (28) and 10 sacks (13.5).

Bengals history against Vikings

Date Visitor Home Result
Date Visitor Home Result
12/17/2017 Cincinnati Bengals Minnesota Vikings L
12/22/2013 Minnesota Vikings Cincinnati Bengals W
12/13/2009 Cincinnati Bengals Minnesota Vikings L
09/18/2005 Minnesota Vikings Cincinnati Bengals W
11/15/1998 Cincinnati Bengals Minnesota Vikings L
12/24/1995 Minnesota Vikings Cincinnati Bengals W
09/27/1992 Minnesota Vikings Cincinnati Bengals L
12/25/1989 Cincinnati Bengals Minnesota Vikings L
11/23/1986 Minnesota Vikings Cincinnati Bengals W
12/17/1983 Cincinnati Bengals Minnesota Vikings L
10/19/1980 Minnesota Vikings Cincinnati Bengals W
11/13/1977 Cincinnati Bengals Minnesota Vikings L
12/02/1973 Minnesota Vikings Cincinnati Bengals W