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
Cincinnati Bengals center Trey Hopkins (66) -Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

How will the Cincinnati Bengals’ new-look offensive line hold up under pressure?

While the Vikings were not a good team last year, the final matchup I’ll be keeping a close eye on is how the Bengals’ new-look offensive line manages an entire game.

So far in the preseason, the Bengals have had good experiences with their starting offensive line. A unit that was known for allowing pressures, which eventually led to Burrow’s injury, has a few new faces with the hopes that the additions will be enough.

The offensive line does not have to be great but merely good enough to allow Burrow, Joe Mixon, and the rest of the playmakers on offense time and opportunity. The preseason is one thing where you can put together a good drive or two and then sit down, the regular season is a different matter.

The Vikings will not be the top defensive group the Bengals meet this year, but that will be very telling if the offensive line struggles in this game. I am looking for Burrow to have a clean pocket most times he drops back and for Mixon to have rushing lanes to choose from.

If we see Burrow being chased on every play and Mixon with nowhere to go, it could spell a long season for a team that was hoping to see major improvement.

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What matchups will you be watching for?