2. Defense is much improved against a solid rushing attack
The biggest threat Minnesota has on offense is Dalvin Cook. Cook has been impressive ever since coming into the league, and many are expecting him to go wild against a poor run defense, however, the Cincinnati Bengals are much improved at stopping the run and will step up in a big way in Week 1.
Now, there is really not a way to shut down Cook completely, but what the Bengals will be able to do is prevent him from taking over the game. The addition of Larry Ogunjobi should help complement the defensive line, but D.J. Reader returning from injury could be huge.
The reason the Cincinnati front office made Reader the highest-paid free agent in Bengals’ history, was because of his ability to stop the run. Reader is going to be chomping at the bit to get back on the field, and he consistently ends up in the backfield creating penetration.
The rest will fall on the linebackers and other defensive linemen to make a play, but the way Reader can disrupt a game will be invaluable against Minnesota.