Going into their Sunday matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, the Cincinnati Bengals were an undefeated 6-0 at home, and averaged 33 points of offense in those six wins. That’s why it should be no surprise that they got the better of the Vikings’ defense on Sunday and continued their undefeated streak at home while putting up 42 points on one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
The Bengals flexed their muscles on offense early, as they went into the halftime break with 28 points already on the board. They then proceeded to continue moving the ball down the field with ease as they put up another 14 points in the third quarter before running a more conservative offense in the fourth, with backups eventually finishing the game.
Andy Dalton was able to pick apart the Vikings’ defense, as they struggled to put any pressure on him through the first three quarters. The Vikings didn’t record their first sack of the game until midway through the fourth, and they finished by sacking Dalton twice on the day for a total of just three quarterback hits. Jared Allen and Brian Robison are the two who should shoulder the blame for the lack of a pass rush, as they failed to make any noteworthy plays on the day, while backup defensive end Everson Griffen recorded two sacks in just a limited showing.
This game was just another one that showed the true age of Allen, and made it more likely that the Vikings will be parting ways with the veteran in order to play the younger and more dominant Griffen. With the lack of a pass rush throughout the first three quarters, Dalton was able to have his way with the Vikings’ already weak secondary and throw for 366 yards and four touchdowns, numbers that the equally bad Vikings’ offense simply couldn’t contend with.
While they did limit the Bengals to just 2.2 yards per carry on the day, the Vikings’ defense had one of their worst showings of the year, and further proved that this team cannot win without improving that side of the ball. It should be noted that the Vikings were without defensive playmaker Xavier Rhodes, but no defensive player stepped up in his absence, and thus, the Vikings drop another game because their defense simply isn’t good enough.