Bengals: Early matchups to watch vs. the Vikings in Week 1

Cincinnati Bengals helmet (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals helmet (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

It is time for Ja’Marr Chase to put the question marks to rest in a solid Cincinnati Bengals passing attack.

Last year, the Vikings were not good at stopping the pass. In fact, they were in the bottom third of the NFL in passing yards allowed. Cincinnati will need to put that into their game plan and look to air the ball out. The Vikings will be able to put extra guys on Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, which means the matchup to watch is Ja’Marr Chase.

Chase has had an up and down preseason, but most of the national attention he has received has focused on his drops during games. A sure-handed player in college, these drops are surprising for the former LSU star. For Cincinnati to reach their ceiling, Joe Burrow and Chase will need to recreate the magic they had during their National Championship run.

The matchup to watch is not necessarily one cornerback on Chase, but rather how the defense plays him and what he does. Does the defense play soft on him and allow him relatively easy catches, or do they crowd him and make him fight for every step?

The aggressiveness of the defense can give us a good look at what the Vikings think he is capable of doing in this game.