December 18, 2017

Cincinnati Bengals blown out by the Minnesota Vikings, 34-7

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

The Minnesota Vikings, having finished a tough set of road games, returned home to Minneapolis to face the Bengals with the NFC North title on the line. The Vikings got some much-needed reinforcement along the offensive line, as right tackle Mike Remmers and centre Pat Elflein were able to return after missing time. Tight end Kyle Rudolph was also active, although he didn’t see much action during the game. The very first play was a sack of Case Keenum by Geno Atkins, but after that the Bengals didn’t show a lot of life.

Other than the win itself to clinch the NFC North, the high point of the game for me was when Teddy Bridgewater came in during the fourth quarter to finish out the game. I’m not lying: tears. Sadly, he didn’t do well (unsurprising after so long out of the line-up), throwing an interception on his first passing attempt (which the Bengals eventually turned into their only points of the day) and having the receiver drop his second pass that would have extended a drive — oh, and losing rushing yards on those kneel-downs to end the game. Vikings twitter reacted as you’d expect:

And then, because Arif loves getting hate mail, he went and baited the trolls:

1500ESPN‘s Matthew Coller on the memorable moment:

When Case Keenum tossed a touchdown to put the Minnesota Vikings up 34-0 over the Cincinnati Bengals, the crowd at US Bank Stadium could feel it coming.

Chants of, “Teddy, Teddy,” started to swell.

Then when Teddy Bridgewater walked out on the field for the first time in 714 days, the 65,000-plus stood up and cheered so loudly that Bridgewater had to cover his ear holes to hear the playcall coming in from Pat Shurmur.

Bridgewater spent 14 months recovering from a knee injury so severe that trainer Eric Sugarman feared the young quarterback would lose his leg. He was mostly in Eden Praire for the recovery, taking baby steps from his first throw during offseason activities – which was well documented by the team – to being cleared to practice to finally being activated.

The strong play of Case Keenum kept Bridgewater on the sideline during games against Washington, Detroit, Atlanta and Carolina. Head coach Mike Zimmer was looking for the right spot to give him some real-game action.

There couldn’t have been a better time than in the fourth quarter of a smack down. It allowed for a no-pressure situation for Bridgewater to shake off rust and nerves that would go along with so much time away.

On his first drive, Bridgewater flipped a pass too high for his checkdown option and it was intercepted by the Bengals. As he came off the field, Bridgewater still had a smile on his face while shaking his head.

At the Daily Norseman, Ted Glover‘s Buy/Sell recommendations from his Stock Market Report for the Bengals game:

Buy: Mike Zimmer should be Coach Of The Year. Mike Zimmer has been the Vikings coach for almost four full seasons now, and in that time the Vikings:

-Played 16 regular season home games and one playoff game in a temporary stadium while US Bank Stadium was being built on the grounds of the Metrodome.

-Named Matt Cassel the starting quarterback, only to give way to Teddy Bridgewater, who had to give way to Sam Bradford after his knee was ambushed by ISIS … who gave way to Case Keenum after Bradford’s knee went out. Case Keenum’s knees are now under armed guard 24 hours a day.

-Built their offense around a top 10 all time running back, only to see said running back miss 28 of 48 games in Zimmer’s first three seasons due to suspension or injury.

-Found replacement to said top 10 all time back, only to see HIM go out with a torn ACL in his fourth game when he was an early rookie of the year favorite.

-Won two division titles.

If you’re not going to give Zim the Coach of the Year, just quit handing out the award. Because nothing against Sean McVay in Los Angeles or Doug Pederson in Philly, but let me see what happens when they play their third string QB.

Sell: Pat Shurmur will be the offensive coordinator next year. I really thought that there wouldn’t be a big demand for Pat Shurmur based on what he did as the head coach in Cleveland, but what he’s done with this offense has been remarkable. With as many openings as we’re going to probably see, it seems pretty likely that he’ll get another opportunity if he wants one.

Buy: Getting a first round bye. The Vikings are just a different team at US Bank Stadium. I’m not saying they’re unbeatable at home, but they have the best homefield advantage in the NFL, and that along with this team is an awfully tough mountain to climb, is all I’m sayin’.

Sell: Getting homefield advantage. I want the Vikings to get homefield for the playoffs, don’t get me wrong. That said … this team is capable of beating anyone in any environment. Their two road losses this year were to very good teams…but they were also games in which the Vikings played terribly. When this team isn’t getting in their own way, they have as complete a football team in the NFL, and can go in to anyone’s house and win. Especially with the altered landscape in the NFC after Carson Wentz’s injury.

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