By Jeff Newman: The Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) blew out the visiting Minnesota Vikings (4-10-1) by a 42-14 score on Sunday at the Paul Brown Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. With this victory, the Bengals clinch the AFC North division, as the Ravens were blown out by the New England Patriots on Sunday.
The Bengals scored 14 points in each of the first three quarters of the game to go into the 4th quarter with a 42-14 lead. They then shut down Vikings for no points to get the win.
Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel, who had been playing outstanding football for the Vikings since taking over for injured Christian Ponder, had a poor game in throwing 3 interceptions. Cassel completed just 13 of 27 passes for 114 yards and he was sacked 4 times. With the way the Bengals were playing such superb defense in this game, I don’t think it would have mattered who the quarterback was for the Vikings.
They would have had major problems, as the Bengals did a great job of blanketing the Vikings receivers and putting Cassel into a position to where he had to frequently throw to well covered receivers. The only way that Vikings could have done something to turn things around is if Cassel was able to run the ball, because there were plenty of open lanes for him if he had the mobility to run. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Cassel isn’t a mobile quarterback, so he was forced to stay in the pocekt and throw to receivers who weren’t open all day long. The fact that he was still able to complete 13 passes is a credit to him.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton completed 27 of 38 passes for 366 yards with 4 touchdown passes. This gives him 31 touchdown passes on the year, leaving him 1 behind former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer for the most TD passes in franchise history. There’s a really good chance that Dalton will equal and perhaps break the record next week in the Bengals game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium.
Vikings running back Codarrelle Patterson rushed for 54 yards on 3 carries for 1 touchdown. Adrian Peterson was back in the lineup and rushed for 45 yards on 11 carries.
The Bengals leading runner was BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who rushed for 24 yards on 12 carries.
Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green caught 7 passes for 97 yards with 2 touchdowns.