When the Vikings Throw the Ball:
Vikings Passing Attack: 22nd – 225.9 ypg
Bengals Pass Defense: 7th – 219.6 ypg
Two weeks ago with Newman healthy and Cassel being Cassel, I would have given the Bengals a huge edge here. However, with the game that Cassel and Jennings put on tape last week, combined with the Bengals injury issues in the secondary, this becomes a dicey matchup for the Bengals.
The Vikings have receivers that can hurt you (Jennings, Simpson, Patterson, Rudolph) and the Bengals are going to have a lot of players in the secondary with limited experience (Kirkpatrick, Ghee, Lewis-Harris). The Bengals should be able to get pressure on Cassel and that will be huge. If Cassel has time, these receivers can expose what will likely be an overmatched secondary.
While the one-on-one matchups in the secondary I give to the Vikings, I believe the Bengals will have a big enough advantage up front to cover up the secondary concerns. Not a big edge here for the Bengals, but an edge nonetheless.