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Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals: Key information and first quarter discussion

Let’s get things started!

Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

We’re just an hour away from kickoff in Cincinnati, folks, and that means our discussion threads for today’s game between the Cincinnati Bengals and your Minnesota Vikings are officially up and open for business! Here’s everything you need to know ahead of today’s game.

Date and Time: Saturday, 16 December 2023, noon Central time

Location: Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

Television Coverage: WCCO-4 in the Twin Cities, NFL Network

Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, SiriusXM Channel 226 (Vikings feed), SiriusXM Channel 88 (Westwood One feed), SiriusXM App Channel 820

Line: Vikings +3.5, Over/Under 40.5

Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 20, Bengals 17

Three Keys

1) Get into some sort of offensive rhythm - The offense has looked completely disjointed over the past couple of games, and now Nick Mullens will get an opportunity to right the ship. Mullens isn’t flashy, but he is more of a drop-back passer than either Jaren Hall or Josh Dobbs, and that seems to be the way that Kevin O’Connell wants the offense to work. Whatever it takes, this team needs to find an offensive rhythm against a team that has had its struggles defensively.

2) Continue stopping the run - The Bengals have started to lean a bit more heavily on the run game with Joe Mixon and Chase Brown since the injury to Joe Burrow, and the Vikings’ run defense has been among the league’s best over the past couple of months. If they can keep the Bengals’ offense behind the chains, it should significantly help them to get after Jake Browning and slow their explosive playmakers down a bit.

3) Be decisive - Whether it’s Mullens’ play in the pocket or Kevin O’Connell’s coaching on the sidelines, this team needs to be more decisive. We saw them take too much time to do things last week in Las Vegas, including getting called for a delay of game penalty after back-to-back timeouts. Those sorts of things are unacceptable at any time, but especially at this point in the season. The team needs to get on track in all facets if they want to win today.

Know the Foe: Cincy Jungle

Twitter: @DailyNorseman

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/thedailynorseman

That should be everything you need to be up to speed on this one, folks. Remember that a new Open Thread starts at the beginning of each quarter, so keep your eyes open for those and move the discussion along accordingly.

Here’s hoping that in about three hours or so we can all get together and talk about how nice it is to have a winning streak again and how we’re that much closer to locking in a playoff spot.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!