The Minnesota Vikings showed on Sunday that they are set up for a deep playoff run.
The dream scenario worked out for Mike Zimmer on Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings were dominating the Cincinnati Bengals to the point of being able to put in the backups to get them some reps. None of those reps were more important than the handful of plays that Teddy Bridgewater got to run during live action of an NFL game. Don’t forget how the Vikings got to the point of getting Bridgewater into the game.
First we will state the disclaimer that the Bengals are not a great football team. Frankly, Cincinnati’s team was probably in an odd mood with the report of head coach Marvin Lewis voluntarily leaving at the end of the season. Nonetheless, the Vikings completed dominated their opponent in the purple’s first home game since a week before Thanksgiving.
Case Keenum looked fantastic once again. Keenum went 20-23 for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Latavius Murray looked like a strong back with explosive runs resulting in 76 yards on 20 carries. Jerick McKinnon grabbed seven catches in the game for 114 yards. Stefon Diggs started to look like the completely dominant wide receiver that we saw in the first weeks of the season with five catches and a touchdown against the Bengals on Sunday. The Vikings scored 34 unanswered points.
We haven’t even mentioned the defense yet.
The Vikings dominated on defense and made a decent quarterback in Andy Dalton look downtrodden. Minnesota picked off Dalton twice including an Eric Kendricks pick that he returned for a touchdown. The Bengals were held scoreless until halfway through the fourth quarter when they converted a garbage time touchdown on a run from the two-yard line.
Again, this wasn’t a playoff bound team the Vikings beat up on, but it was great to see an absolutely dominant game on all sides of the ball from Minnesota. If you believe in trap games or not, it would have been easy for the Vikings to look past Sunday and be looking ahead to Saturday’s matchup with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, but Minnesota stayed in the moment.
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It is hard to expect a blowout, but it was kind of hoped for for the Vikings. The performance on Sunday shows that the game against the Carolina Panthers the previous week was more of a misnomer than what the team was going to be going forward towards the playoffs. If the Vikings can play like they did against Cincinnati on Sunday, it’ll be tough for anyone to bounce the Vikings from the playoffs.
We should all be happy for Bridgewater that he got in the game. The standing ovation was an awesome moment even through the television screen and I’m sure his appearance will be one of the main talking points looking back at the matchup, but don’t forget why Bridgewater was in the game.
The Minnesota Vikings have a little bit of a short week ahead of them. The Vikings play their last regular season road game of the year on Saturday when they take on the Green Bay Packers under the lights.