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5 keys for Vikings to beat Bengals this Sunday

5 keys for Vikings to beat Bengals this Sunday

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Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 03: Minnesota Vikings head football coach Mike Zimmer watches the action during the second quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 03, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota defeated Detroit 37-35. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

The Vikings travel to Cincinnati as favorites in Week 1. Here are five keys for Minnesota to watch closely if they want to avoid the upset. 

If the Vikings want to mount a serious charge for an NFC North title this season they can’t afford to drop games to teams like the Bengals. Minnesota heads into their opener as solid favorites, but they can’t afford to sleepwalk against Joe Burrow and his young team if they want to emerge victorious.

Fortunately for fans in Minnesota, head coach Mike Zimmer isn’t the sort of guy to let sleepwalking happen on his watch. The Vikings should be raring to go by the time Week 1 arrives.

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That places the emphasis on Minnesota focusing on the right tactical objectives if they want to start out 1-0. Here are five keys Zimmer and his staff need to watch closely on Sunday afternoon.

These keys will make the Vikings 1-0 after Sunday

5. Give Kirk Cousins easy throws

Cousins has been a lightning rod for controversy this offseason due to his views on vaccination. The last thing he can afford is to start off his regular season by throwing costly interceptions against an underrated Bengals secondary.

The solution for Minnesota’s offensive coaching staff is simple. They need to give Cousins some easy throws early in the game to help build up his confidence. Screens to Dalvin Cook should be a staple of the Vikings offense. Working some easy throws to tight ends can also be high percentage plays for Cousins. The bottom line is that he needs to get off to a good start if he’s going to be effective late in this game.

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