|Last 3 Games||2-1||+2.3||3-0||2-1||32.3||9.0||443.3||(6.2)||1.0||26.3||7.3||426.7||(6.4)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||25.9||12.6||20.0||29:07||28-128||(4.6)||21-35||60.1%||226||(6.5)||62-354||(5.7)||(13.6)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||24.3||12||20.4||30:10||27-116||(4.3)||22-35||61.5%||239||(6.8)||62-355||(5.7)||(14.6)|
|Offense Road Games||23.7||12.6||18.5||29:17||28-131||(4.7)||19-34||54.7%||223||(6.5)||62-354||(5.7)||(14.9)|
|Defense (All Games)||30.4||14.4||23.6||32:54||27-116||(4.3)||26-41||64.2%||290||(7)||69-406||(5.9)||(13.4)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||24.5||11.8||20.6||30:24||27-114||(4.3)||22-36||61.9%||251||(7)||63-365||(5.8)||(14.9)|
|Defense Road Games||29.7||12.6||23.4||32:36||26-101||(3.9)||27-43||63.1%||282||(6.5)||70-383||(5.5)||(12.9)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.1||0.8||1.9||-0.5||14-5||38.7%||1-1||58.8%||4-103||(25.2)||1-17||(13.1)||4-45|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.6||1.6||2||13-5||38.3%||1-0||51.6%||3-62||(23.2)||19-2||(10)||6-53|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.1||1.1||2.2||-0.6||14-5||35.7%||1-1||50.0%||4-119||(27.2)||1-22||(15.8)||4-50|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.9||0.5||1.4|| ||14-6||44.1%||1-1||62.5%||3-78||(27.9)||2-20||(8.8)||6-64|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.6||1.7|| ||13-5||39.4%||1-0||51.8%||3-60||(22.4)||22-2||(10.9)||6-54|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||1.0||0.6||1.6|| ||14-6||38.8%||1-0||50.0%||3-94||(29)||2-17||(6.9)||6-60|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+0.7||2-1||2-1||26.3||9.3||354.3||(5.4)||1.0||22.7||11.3||337.7||(5.6)||1.3|
|Offense (All Games)||25.3||11.8||20.4||32:16||30-112||(3.8)||23-37||61.6%||251||(6.8)||66-362||(5.5)||(14.3)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||24.1||11.9||19.8||30:16||28-115||(4.2)||21-36||59.8%||237||(6.7)||63-352||(5.6)||(14.6)|
|Offense Home Games||33.2||16.7||20.0||31:40||31-118||(3.8)||20-32||63.2%||232||(7.2)||63-350||(5.5)||(10.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||19.6||10.4||18.2||29:36||25-99||(3.9)||23-38||59.4%||220||(5.7)||64-318||(5)||(16.3)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.2||11.1||20.2||30:17||26-106||(4)||23-37||60.9%||249||(6.7)||64-355||(5.6)||(15.3)|
|Defense Home Games||17.2||8.0||17.8||28:19||20-94||(4.8)||24-43||55.6%||220||(5.1)||63-314||(5)||(18.3)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.1||0.6||1.8||-0.1||14-5||38.9%||1-1||57.9%||2-62||(24.9)||3-26||(9)||6-62|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.5||1.4||1.9||14-5||38.7%||1-0||50.8%||3-64||(22.9)||21-2||(9.7)||6-54|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.8||0.7||1.5||0.8||13-5||37.5%||1-0||50.0%||2-63||(28.9)||3-29||(9.3)||7-59|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||0.7||1.7|| ||14-5||34.8%||1-0||41.7%||3-64||(22.3)||2-16||(9.2)||4-43|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.6||1.7|| ||14-5||38.3%||1-0||46.4%||3-59||(22.8)||22-2||(10.7)||6-50|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.5||0.8||2.3|| ||13-3||25.0%||1-0||14.3%||4-81||(21.3)||2-19||(9.6)||4-40|
|Average power rating of opponents played: MINNESOTA 20.9, CINCINNATI 19.6|
|11/24/2013||@ GREEN BAY||26-26||T||6||W||44.5||O||43-232||21-30-215||1||34-196||28-53-298||0|
|12/22/2013||@ CINCINNATI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||DETROIT|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/1/2013||@ SAN DIEGO||17-10||W||-2.5||W||48.5||U||38-164||14-23-190||2||24-91||23-37-243||3|
|12/22/2013||MINNESOTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||BALTIMORE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|MINNESOTA: The Vikings have adopted more of a versatile running scheme, mixing in a lot of man blocking with their usual zone stuff. Obviously, Adrian Peterson is the centerpiece of this offense, and after bringing him along somewhat slowly early last season, he'll be all-systems-go as a three-down workhorse this year. Toby Gerhart will occasionally spell him and would take a full workload if Peterson were to get hurt again.
This is a West Coast passing game that has Christian Ponder moving around a lot. In the past, their favorite play had been to roll Ponder out with Percy Harvin for some long hand-offs. They'd like rookie Cordarrelle Patterson to take that role of the departed Harvin. TE Kyle Rudolph will also inherit those looks, and they'll involve Peterson in the screen game frequently. Greg Jennings will move around a lot and should be their leading receiver. Jerome Simpson is a pure deep threat, while third receiver Jarius Wright will line up inside and out, but is better working downfield. Not surprisingly, the Vikings continued to ride Peterson in the red zone (59 carries inside 20-yd line last season), and they'll do the same this year. When they throw, it's usually off play-action with Rudolph.
The strength of this defense comes up front with 4-time All-Pro DE Jared Allen (117 career sacks) and 5-time All-Pro DT Kevin Williams (56.5 career sacks), plus first-round pick DT Sharrif Floyd and new DE Lawrence Jackson. The Vikings still have star SLB Chad Greenway (148 tackles, T-2nd in NFL) all over the field, but despite the defense's utter lack of playmakers, it added no significant free agents in the back seven. The subpar pass defense (244 YPG, 24th in NFL) got even weaker when it allowed top CB Antoine Winfield to sign elsewhere. CB Chris Cook and rookie CB Xavier Rhodes are a shaky starting duo. |
|CINCINNATI: The Bengals have grown into offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's zone-blocking scheme nicely. Their offensive line, one of the NFL's best, should continue to improve this season. BenJarvus Green-Ellis should continue to take the majority of the work on first and second down. Rookie Giovani Bernard will be a change-of-pace and passing down back, although he could end up sharing that role with fellow rookie Rex Burkhead, who's considered to be more advanced in pass protection.
Gruden runs a West Coast offense, but it's a passing game that attacks downfield much more aggressively than most WCOs. Andy Dalton is a shaky decision maker with accuracy that comes and goes, but his willingness to let A.J. Green make plays in traffic is what makes this offense go. Green does most of his work on the perimeter and deep. The second read is usually slot receiver Andrew Hawkins, and they run some designed plays to get TE Jermaine Gresham the ball. Their No. 2 receiver is rarely used, and Bernard figures to be the only back that does more than pass protect. The Bengals were balanced in the red zone last year, including a 50/50 run/pass split in goal-to-go situations.
This underrated defense placed sixth in the NFL in total defense (320 YPG allowed) and ranked third in the league with 51 sacks, thanks to DT Geno Atkins (12.5 sacks) and DE Michael Johnson (11.5 sacks). In the second half of 2012, the Bengals allowed a paltry 12.8 PPG with 19 forced turnovers and three defensive touchdowns. New OLB James Harrison is familiar with AFC North opponents, and will help groom young LBs Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga. The strong front seven allows the secondary to go after the football, collecting nearly as many INT (14) as TD passes allowed (16) last year.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (MINNESOTA-CINCINNATI) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Vikings-Bengals Preview* =========================
By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
Still in control of their playoff fate, the Cincinnati Bengals are focused on what lies ahead and not behind.
Looking to bounce back from their first loss in a month and remain undefeated at home, the Bengals can possibly secure a playoff berth and the AFC North title Sunday while trying to make sure the Minnesota Vikings go winless on the road for the third time in franchise history.
Riding a three-game winning streak in which it topped 40 points twice, Cincinnati (9-5) took a step back with last Sunday's 30-20 loss at Pittsburgh. The defeat was magnified a night later when Baltimore edged Detroit to move one game behind the first-place Bengals in the North.
Cincinnati, which lost to the Ravens last month, hosts them next week but can take some drama away by clinching the division with a win against the Vikings (4-9-1) and a Baltimore loss or tie against New England.
A Cincinnati victory plus a loss or tie by Miami in Buffalo on Sunday would secure a third straight playoff berth for the Bengals.
"We've got to go play and win football games," coach Marvin Lewis said. "We didn't win one. So we've got to win the next two. If we take care of that and take care of ourselves, that's all we have to worry about."
The Bengals were held to 279 total yards at Pittsburgh, falling to 2-2 this season when recording fewer than 300. Andy Dalton threw for 230 yards with two touchdowns and A.J. Green caught nine passes for 93, but Cincinnati's longest gain of the night covered 19 yards.
Cincinnati averaged 141.6 rushing yards in the previous five games but equaled a season low with 57 last weekend.
The Bengals also matched their season high for points allowed while yielding a touchdown reception and a 67-yard punt return score in the first quarter to Antonio Brown as the Steelers opened a 21-0 lead.
"There's no panic," Dalton said. "There's no worry about anything. We're not frantic. We still have two games at home and have everything to accomplish, so we've got to take care of our business."
Cincinnati has certainly taken care of matters at home, where it's 6-0, averages 33.2 points and has scored at least 41 in three consecutive games. The Bengals averaged 19.4 points on the road, where they finished with a losing record for the first time in three seasons.
Dalton has completed 63.0 percent of his passes and thrown only five of his 16 interceptions this season at Paul Brown Stadium. Of the 14 TDs he's thrown there, 11 have come over the last three contests.
While Cincinnati is trying to go undefeated at home for the first time since 1988, Minnesota hasn't gone winless on the road since 2001. The Vikings, who went 0-7 away from home during their inaugural season in 1961, are 0-6-1 on the road and did beat Pittsburgh in London while considered the home team.
Indianapolis was the last team to go without a road victory during its 2-14 season in 2011.
Though Minnesota hasn't played in Cincinnati since 2005, it's dropped two straight and five of six all-time there.
"We are going to emphasize (getting a road win)," said Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who was Lewis' defensive coordinator in Cincinnati in 2003-04. "We want to win this final road game. It's important. It's our next game on our schedule and we are going to emphasize it for sure."
After missing last Sunday's 48-30 upset of Philadelphia, injured running backs Adrian Peterson (foot) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring) are expected to be available for a Vikings team that's dropped three road games by four or fewer points.
Matt Cassel threw for 382 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Greg Jennings set season highs with 11 catches and 163 yards plus a TD and third-stringer Matt Asiata rushed for three TDs during Minnesota's highest-scoring game of the season.
Though the Vikings won't be making a second straight playoff appearance, the focus remains on themselves and not the fate of their opponent.
"We don't use that word spoiler in our conversation," Frazier said. "We're trying our very best to work as hard as we can to get a win for our team and it's nothing to do with the impact it would have on any other team."
Set to make his third straight start, Cassel has thrown for 890 yards with five TDs and two INTs in the last three games.
Second in the NFL with 1,221 rushing yards, Peterson ran for 97 and two TDs on 26 carries during Minnesota's 30-10 home win over the Bengals in 2009.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 8:16:13 AM EST|