The Cincinnati Bengals host the Minnesota Vikings on a rare edition of Saturday afternoon NFL action. The Bengals defense might be giving up more explosive plays this year but they're tied for seventh in the league as far as takeaways per game are concerned, per Team Rankings.
When speaking with Adam Patrick of The Viking Age, FanSided's site dedicated to all things surrounding the Minnesota Vikings, he said that Minnesota's biggest weakness is that they turn the ball over far too much. The Vikings have averaged the most giveaways this season (well, they're in a four-way tie with the Commanders, Jets, and Raiders).
Here's more from my conversation with Adam.
Bengals vs. Vikings Week 15 Q&A
Q: Who is going to start at QB for the Vikings this week?
Adam: Nick Mullens has been named the starting quarterback for the Vikings this week, sending Josh Dobbs to the bench. Mullens, who has been in the NFL since 2017, replaced Dobbs in the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s win over the Raiders this past Sunday and led the Vikings on their only scoring drive of the game.
Q: What is the Vikings' biggest strength and what is their biggest weakness?
Adam: Right now, Minnesota’s defense is easily their biggest strength. They just pitched a shutout for the first time since 2017, and heading into Saturday, they rank eighth in the NFL in points allowed per offensive drive, 11th in net yards allowed per pass attempt, fourth in rushing yards allowed per carry, and 13th in turnovers forced.
As for the Vikings’ biggest weakness, they’ve turned the ball over a ton this season. Minnesota has turned the ball over 24 times this year, which is currently the fourth-most in the NFL. The Vikings are 1-6 this season when they lose the turnover battle in a game.
Q: Who has been the MVP for the Vikings this year?
Adam: This season, Minnesota’s MVP has actually been a coach, defensive coordinator Brian Flores. After the Vikings had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year, Flores has come in with his ultra-aggressive scheme and completely transformed the unit into one of the best in the entire league.
Q: In one sentence, how do you think this game will go?
Adam: As is the case with just about every game since Minnesota hired Kevin O’Connell in 2022, it will likely come down to the wire.
Q: The Vikings win if...
Adam: It seems simple, but Minnesota will likely get a victory on Saturday if they win the turnover battle and Nick Mullens is able to get their offense back on track.
Q: Give us a score prediction.
Adam: Vikings win 23-21
Thanks again to Adam for taking the time to answer my questions. Be sure to check out his work over at The Viking Age as we inch closer to kickoff!