January 21, 2018

Teddy Bridgewater returns, Vikings clinch NFC North in rout of Bengals

18 December 2017, 01:01 | Denise Dawson

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 10 2017 Cincinnati OH USA Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis watches from the sideline against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

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NO HARD FEELINGS: When the Bengals and Vikings held joint practices during the 2016 preseason prior to an exhibition game between the two teams, Jones and Kirkpatrick were jawing in one-on-one drills against the Minnesota receivers.

Teddy Bridgewater made his long-awaited return to action and the team wrapped up the NFC North with a 34-7 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals.

"It would be a mistake to just zero in on '18, " Haslam said of his Thursday statement endorsing his coach for next season. Four of those seven losses came at home. "You respected it because he was consistent in how he coached the five-time Pro Bowler to the rookies". The Vikings controlled the clock and the Bengals really had no answer for the Vikings offense.

The Vikings had some negative runs that created unfavorable down-and-distance situations, and falling behind forced Minnesota to rely more heavily on the passing game in the second half.

Stewart also scored three touchdowns on the ground after the Vikings had limited their first 12 opponents to six combined rushing scores.

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Bridgewater's second pass of the day was dropped by Michael Floyd, and the quarterback finished with a passer rating of 0.0. It's a game where the Bengals will enter as big underdogs.

- Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has 13 sacks this season, which is a career high for the former fourth-round pick.

- The Vikings have won 19 division titles in their 57-year history.

For the first time in 15 years, the Bengals are going to have to conduct a coaching search, which is always an adventure in Cincinnati and that's mainly because of the way the team's ownership is structured under Mike Brown. Minnesota can make it No. 20 with a victory Sunday against the Bengals.

Guenther may have emerged as a candidate for other head coaching openings, regardless of Lewis's decision to move on from Cincinnati.

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