Super Bowl Recap
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There were plenty of questions swirling about the Bengals heading into their regular-season opener on Sunday and they answered most of them during a wild 27-24 overtime victory against the Vikings.
After a preseason where Joe Burrow only took three snaps, the big question in Cincinnati was whether he was mentally ready to play, and if Sunday’s performance was any indication, the answer is a resounding yes. Although Burrow’s numbers won’t blow anyone away (20 of 27 for 261 yards and two touchdowns), he came up with clutch throw after clutch throw.
Burrow’s biggest throw arguably came in overtime when he connected with C.J. Uzomah for a 32-yard gain on fourth-and-1 from his own 48-yard line.
Burrow was HYPE after tossing a dime on fourth down 😤 @JoeyB @Bengals pic.twitter.com/FnOWJcGoLR
If the pass had fallen incomplete, the Vikings would have taken over needing just 10 or so yards to get into field goal range. Instead, the pass from Burrow set up Evan McPherson’s game-winning field goal from 33 yards out.
Visit https://t.co/KpeqK4RKUm for more highlights. pic.twitter.com/OqO09pQSzZ
Another big question for the Bengals heading into the season was whether or not they made the right decision when they drafted Ja’Marr Chase. Although that’s not a question that will be answered in just one game, the Bengals certainly looked like they made the right decision in Week 1. Chase caught everything thrown his way on a day where he finished with five catches for 101 yards. His biggest play against the Vikings came just before halftime when he caught a 50-yard bomb from Burrow.
Turns out Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase were just saving their magic for the regular season.
The Bengals also had some big questions surrounding their defense heading into the season, which was one of the worst units in the NFL last year. Although it hasn’t fixed everything, the defense definitely looked much improved in a game where it sacked Kirk Cousins three times, which was a huge number for a team that only tallied 17 sacks during the ENTIRE 2020 season (That number was an NFL-low).
.@Mr_Ogunjobi & Trey Hendrickson are making themselves comfortable in Cincinnati. 😤
📺: #MINvsCIN on FOX pic.twitter.com/NwaxaQ0xdz
The Bengals offensive line is still a big question mark — Burrow got sacked five times and took some huge hits — but the Bengals proved on Sunday that they can win even if their offensive line isn’t perfect, which is something that couldn’t be said last season.
With this one win, the Bengals are now tied for first place in the AFC North, which is something that should definitely serve as a confident booster for a team that’s spent so much time in the division cellar over the past five years.
Alright, let’s get to the grades for every game from Week 1. If you’re looking for a deeper dive on the Cowboys-Buccaneers game that was played on Thursday, be sure to click here.
Jets-Panthers grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Eagles-Falcons grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Bills-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Dolphins-Patriots grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Packers-Saints grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Browns-Chiefs grades by Josh Edwards (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Bears-Rams grades by Jared Dubin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
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