Posted: 9:14 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013
By Jon Benne
The Bengals won big over the Vikings and clinched a playoff spot with help elsewhere.
The Cincinnati Bengals made quick work of the Minnesota Vikings, winning, 42-14 thanks to four touchdown passes by Andy Dalton. With a loss by the Miami Dolphins, the Bengals clinched a playoff spot with a 10-5 record. They can win the AFC North if the Baltimore Ravens lose.
The Vikings got off to a rough start. Matt Cassel got sacked and lost a fumble on the opening drive, and Carlos Dunlap returned the ball down inside the Bengals' red zone. BenJarvus Green-Ellis punched it in to give Cincinnati an early lead. Cassel got the Vikings on the board with a _ yard touchdown strike to Jarius Wright. Cincinnati got the lead back when Andy Dalton hooked up with A.J. Green for a 29-yard score.
Cassel struggled for the first half, losing the fumble and throwing a pick-six to Vincent Rey. He committed his third turnover on the very next drive, throwing up a wounded duck that was tipped and picked off by George Iloka. Dalton hit Jermaine Gresham for another score and the Bengals went into halftime leading, 28-7. The Vikings managed just 100 total yards in the first half.
The Bengals poured it on in the second half. Dalton threw two more touchdowns to get to four on the day, and the game was all but over halfway through the third quarter. Minnesota's lone consolation was a 35-yard touchdown run on an end-around by Cordarrelle Patterson. Cassel had a miserable day, completing just 13-of-27 passes for 114 yards and three interceptions.
Andy Dalton carved up the Vikings for four touchdowns and 366 yards. A.J. Green grabbed two of those.and added 97 yards on seven catches.
The Bengals were favored by 7.5 points, according to OddsShark.
Cincinnati vs. Baltimore, Dec. 29, 1 p.m. ET