There have been loads of questions swirling in regards to the Bengals heading into their regular-season opener on Sunday they usually answered most of them throughout a wild 27-24 additional time victory in opposition to the Vikings.
After a preseason the place Joe Burrow solely took three snaps, the massive query in Cincinnati was whether or not he was mentally able to play, and if Sunday’s efficiency was any indication, the reply is a powerful sure. Though Burrow’s numbers will not blow anybody away (20 of 27 for 261 yards and two touchdowns), he got here up with clutch throw after clutch throw.
Burrow’s greatest throw arguably got here in additional time when he linked with C.J. Uzomah for a 32-yard achieve on fourth-and-1 from his personal 48-yard line.
If the move had fallen incomplete, the Vikings would have taken over needing simply 10 or so yards to get into discipline objective vary. As a substitute, the move from Burrow arrange Evan McPherson’s game-winning discipline objective from 33 yards out.
One other massive query for the Bengals heading into the season was whether or not or not they made the best resolution once they drafted Ja’Marr Chase. Though that is not a query that might be answered in only one recreation, the Bengals actually seemed like they made the best resolution in Week 1. Chase caught the whole lot thrown his method on a day the place he completed with 5 catches for 101 yards. His greatest play in opposition to the Vikings got here simply earlier than halftime when he caught a 50-yard bomb from Burrow.
The Bengals additionally had some massive questions surrounding their protection heading into the season, which was one of many worst items within the NFL final yr. Though it hasn’t mounted the whole lot, the protection positively seemed a lot improved in a recreation the place it sacked Kirk Cousins thrice, which was an enormous quantity for a group that solely tallied 17 sacks throughout the ENTIRE 2020 season (That quantity was an NFL-low).
The Bengals offensive line remains to be a giant query mark — Burrow acquired sacked 5 occasions and took some enormous hits — however the Bengals proved on Sunday that they will win even when their offensive line is not good, which is one thing that could not be mentioned final season.
With this one win, the Bengals are actually tied for first place within the AFC North, which is one thing that ought to positively function a assured booster for a group that is spent a lot time within the division cellar over the previous 5 years.
Alright, let’s get to the grades for each recreation from Week 1. In case you’re on the lookout for a deeper dive on the Cowboys-Buccaneers recreation that was performed on Thursday, make sure to click on right here.
Cincinnati 27-24 over Minnesota (OT)
San Francisco 41-33 over Detroit
Arizona 38-13 over Tennessee
Seattle 28-16 over Indianapolis
L.A. Chargers 20-16 over Washington
Houston 37-21 over Jacksonville
Carolina 19-14 over N.Y. Jets
Jets-Panthers grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Philadelphia 32-6 over Atlanta
Eagles-Falcons grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Pittsburgh 23-16 over Buffalo
Payments-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Denver 27-13 over N.Y. Giants
Miami 17-16 over New England
Dolphins-Patriots grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New Orleans 38-3 over Inexperienced Bay (in Jacksonville)
Packers-Saints grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Kansas Metropolis 33-29 over Cleveland
Browns-Chiefs grades by Josh Edwards (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
L.A. Rams 34-14 over Chicago
Bears-Rams grades by Jared Dubin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)