In just a few days the Vikings will have a chance to seal the NFC North with a win over the 5-8 Cincinnati Bengals, one of three remaining games the Vikings must win in order to finish 13-3 and secure a first round bye.
It shouldn’t be a hard task for Zimmer’s team favored at home by 11 points, especially considering the Bengals style of play. Cincinnati wins games by playing dirty and taking cheap shots. The players on that defense have a lot of respect for Zimmer as he was the long time defensive coordinator under Marvin Lewis. Assuming these players still respect our coach, I hope that we don’t end up in a close game where Vontaze Burfict is taking cheap shots and Thielen or Diggs.
Minnesota is 5-0 all time at home against Cincy. Although the Bengals kind of suck, these are the late season games we can’t look past. The Vikings have to prepare like they would for Green Bay or Seattle. Losing this game would be a huge shot to the confidence of the team and send ripples of uncertainty through the fan base. This is sneakily a must-win game.
What to watch for:
Although Rudolph’s status remains uncertain, Zimmer today on KFAN implied that we’re gonna be healthier than anticipated come Sunday.
The Gold Gloves
At a joint practice in 2015, Bengals CBs didn’t want to line up with Thielen because they want the “dawgs”. Well you’re getting a dawg on Sunday, Cincinnati. Thielen is tied with Julio Jones for third in NFL receiving yards this season. Expect him to make a statement this weekend.
Keenum had his first three-turnover game in Carolina but still has the starting job. If the Vikings are up by a few scores, why not give Teddy some snaps in the second half?
The Vikes haven’t played a home game in a while and are facing a weak Bengals defense. Case Keenum and the offense could put up some serious points to get the home fans going for the home stretch.