Week 15 Bengals @ Vikings Discussion
Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:15 am
I'm pretty happy with the result of that long stretch of tough games. I think the team can rebound against the Bengals even not at full health. They were within 3 against the Steelers 2 weeks ago and then lost to the Bears 33-7 last week. Who knows which team will show up. Their fans seem to think they've given up.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) return home to host the Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) after a three-game road trip. The Vikings had their eight-game win streak snapped in Week 14, falling 31-24 at Carolina. The Vikings own a 5-1 home record, and the Bengals hold a 2-4 mark on the road in 2017. The Vikings 10-3 start is the best start through 13 games for Minnesota since starting 11-2 in 2009.
The Vikings offense, which ranks seventh in the NFL in yards per game (369.3), has been led by the consistent play from WR Adam Thielen, who is tied for third in the NFL with 1,161 receiving yards and seventh in the NFL with 80 receptions. QB Case Keenum has stepped in to start 11 games, posting an 8-3 record and compiling 18 touchdowns against seven interceptions and a career-best 96.2 passer rating. RBs Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray have filled the void left by rookie starter RB Dalvin Cook, helping the Vikings rush for 121.1 yards per game, eighth in the NFL.
The Vikings defense has held opponents to 293.4 yards per game (third in the NFL) and 18.1 points per game (third in the NFL). The Vikings defense has limited opponents to 88.3 rushing yards per game (second in the NFL) and 3.7 yards per rush (sixth in the NFL). Minnesota has limited opponents to 205.1 passing yards per game, fifth in the NFL.
DE Everson Griffen is third in the NFL with a career high 13 sacks this season, marking the third time in his career that he has reached double digits (12 in 2014, 10.5 in 2015). LB Eric Kendricks, who has led the Vikings in tackles each of his first two seasons, is leading the Vikings with 118 tackles (coaches’ stats) and has tied his career high with 13 tackles on three separate occasions this season (at PIT, vs BAL, at CLE). S Harrison Smith, who has 15 interceptions and nine sacks since entering the NFL in 2012, is joined by Panthers LB Luke Kuechly as the only two in the NFL since 2012 to have 11 interceptions and 7 sacks.
• Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer served as the Bengals defensive coordinator from 2008-13, leading defenses that ranked in the top 10 for yards allowed in four of the six years.
• Vikings CB Terence Newman played for the Bengals from 2012-14, starting in all 41 games in which he appeared with Cincinnati. Newman, who played under Zimmer in Cincinnati and Dallas, again joined Zimmer in Minnesota after signing with the club via free agency in 2015. Newman played in three playoff games (two starts) as a Bengal.
• Bengals assistant strength coach Jeff Friday was a strength coach for the Vikings from 1996-98.
• Vikings LB coach Adam Zimmer served as the Bengals assistant DBs coach in 2013.
• Bengals T Andre Smith played for the Vikings in 2016 and started the first four games of the season before being placed on IR after suffering a triceps injury.
• Vikings LB Emmanuel Lamur originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Bengals in 2012. Lamur played in 29 games (15 starts) with the Bengals from 2012-15 before joining the Vikings via free agency during the 2016 offseason.