Cincinnati Bengals: 4 breakout candidates in Week 1 vs. Vikings
Bengals’ breakout candidates – Chidobe Awuzie
Another Cincinnati defender with a big opportunity in Week 1 is Chidobe Awuzie. With Trae Waynes injured, the Bengals are likely starting Eli Apple opposite of Awuzie. Apple has gone through many struggles in his young career so it’s understandable to be a bit anxious about him being a starter in the secondary.
Minnesota has a lethal passing attack led by Jefferson and Thielen. Apple will be picked on consistently, especially if the Vikings decide to deploy only two receivers on a consistent basis. Maybe Cincinnati will run more zone Sunday to help Apple. If they run as much man as usual, Awuzie needs to be big.
Awuzie could have a lockdown performance based on his terrific offseason. Even before Waynes’ injury, there was a sense Awuzie could be the best cornerback on the roster this season. Some even suggested Awuzie could have been the best player during camp.
He will be presented with a heavyweight matchup against either Jefferson or Thielen. Awuzie will look to spring into stardom versus the Vikings.