Entering the first week of the 2021 NFL season, a ton of people were anxious to see how Joe Burrow would look in his return from a serious knee injury from a season ago. At the same time, some were curious to see if the Minnesota Vikings were going to return to being a playoff team in the NFC. While the Cincinnati Bengals were able to sneak away with an overtime win over the Vikings, both teams have a lot to work on moving forward.
For a few moments, it looked as if we would get our first tie of the season in Week 1 as time was dwindling in overtime. However, Burrow would deliver a 32-yard pass to put Cincinnati in a position to make a game-winning field goal.
After a close contest in overtime, here are three takeaways from Sunday’s showdown between the Vikings and the Bengals in Week 1.
Offense Of The Vikings Looked Out Of Sorts
Due to COVID-19 issues throughout the offseason, Kirk Cousins didn’t have as much time to practice with the starters this offseason as he would have liked. From the moment the game began, you could tell that the Vikings didn’t have much continuity on offense despite Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and Dalvin Cook being the top three options in the offense still.
By looking at the box score, you may think that Cousins did all he could to lead the Vikings to a win. However, the box score doesn’t show that he missed a ton of throws early in the game that would have prevented Minnesota from being in a situation where they needed to make a comeback. Also, Cook’s two fumbles didn’t help the offense much either.
All in all, it was a disappointing outing from the offense of the Vikings in Week 1.
Joe Burrow Was Solid For Bengals In Return From A Serious Knee Injury
When a quarterback comes back from a serious knee ailment, there is no telling how they’ll respond. Just as expected, it was a slow start for Burrow on Sunday in his first real game action since suffering a season-ending knee injury late last season. But Burrow would settle in nicely and put together a solid outing in Week 1.
The second-year quarterback was efficient by completing 20 of his 27 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. On the other hand, if you’re the Bengals, you do want to avoid having Burrow being sacked five times like he was on Sunday. Burrow will look to build upon his solid outing in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears in Week 2.
Ja’Marr Chase Put His Struggles From The Offseason Behind Him
There was a ton of chatter surrounding Ja’Marr Chase this offseason as he was struggling to adjust from college football to the NFL. Chase was dropping passes at an alarming rate in the preseason, leading many to cast doubts on his rookie season. Despite the concerns, Chase would respond with five receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown in Week 1.
The rookie wideout led all wide receivers on the Bengals in receptions and yards in Week 1, and the biggest development was that he had zero drops. When Cincinnati took Chase over Penei Sewell in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, they were hoping to get a dynamic weapon at wide receiver.
While it’s only one game, Chase looks like he’s beginning to put his issues behind him as a rookie.