Bengals: 5 most important individual matchups vs. Vikings in Week 1

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Mike Zimmer – Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

On Sunday afternoon, the Cincinnati Bengals will take on the Minnesota Vikings in the first game of the season. The Bengals must get off to a good start. To do that, they are going to have to win some critical one-on-one matchups. This is not limited to on the field either. Cue our first matchup.

Zac Taylor vs. Mike Zimmer

This is probably the most important matchup of this game. Can a Taylor-made offense go toe-to-toe with a Mike Zimmer-led defense? Where will the blitzes come from? Can Taylor scheme receivers open?

Who has the coaching advantage when the Bengals offense is on the field?

Yes, Minnesota’s defense disappointed last year but this year, he is looking to turn that around and people around the league have taken notice. The Vikings defense is highly thought of amongst several preseason rankings.

Hopefully, the Bengals’ offense can come out swinging against what should be an improved Vikings’ defense.

Taylor must help this team get well above the 29th ranked offense of a year ago. The Bengals ranked 27th in passing, 24th in rushing, 28th in yards per drive, and most importantly, 29th in points scored.

This was not just a personnel issue. Taylor is the de facto offensive coordinator. He must be able to provide a game-plan to put the players in a better position to succeed.