Final

Bengals 10

(9-4, 4-2 away)

Vikings 30

(11-2, 7-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 13, 2009

Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, MN 

1 2 3 4 T
CIN 0 7 0 310
MIN 0 16 7 730

Top Performers

Passing: B. Favre (MIN) - 192 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: A. Peterson (MIN) - 26 CAR, 97 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: B. Berrian (MIN) - 4 REC, 43 YDS

Peterson scores twice, doesn't fumble in Vikings' win

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brad Childress uses video clips, a dry wit and his psychology degree to address the Minnesota Vikings in team meetings the night before games, and for this week's message the coach used an auto racing analogy.

More from ESPN.com

There was little doubt Sunday about how Antoine Winfield elevates the Vikings' defense to another level, writes Kevin Seifert. Blog

That lopsided loss at Arizona? Just a pit stop, Childress insisted.

Adrian Peterson ran 26 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns, pushing the Vikings past the mistake-prone Cincinnati Bengals in a bruising 30-10 victory on Sunday.

"We wanted to come out and show to ourselves that this is the Vikings team you have seen all year," said Peterson, who added 40 yards receiving and set a single-season franchise record with 14 rushing touchdowns.

Minnesota (11-2) clinched a spot in the playoffs and moved within one win -- or one Green Bay loss -- of a second straight NFC North title. Brett Favre wasn't great, completing 17 of 30 passes for 192 yards, one touchdown and an interception, but the defense responded to linebacker E.J. Henderson's devastating injury last week with an inspired effort while welcoming hard-hitting cornerback Antoine Winfield back.

Fast Facts

• The Vikings clinched a playoff berth with the win.

• With his second pass completion, Brett Favre hit 6,000 completions for his career.

• Adrian Peterson ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns, his fourth multi-rush TD game this season. Peterson now has a career-high 14 rushing TDs this season -- a franchise record for most TDs in a single season.

• This is the fewest points scored by the Bengals since the first week of the season. It was also the most points given up by the Bengals this season.

• Bloggers' wrapups

• Rapid reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

"They sent a message and set a tone early in the game," said Cedric Benson, whose 16 carries for 96 yards gave him his first 1,000-yard season. "Today was a big learning lesson. We've got a lot of young guys, and I don't think that many guys have had that playoff run opportunity. Today was a playoff game if you ask me. Tough opponent."

Cincinnati (9-4) committed 11 penalties for 85 yards and failed to clinch the AFC North when Baltimore won. Rookies Jasper Brinkley and Jamarca Sanford made their first career starts at linebacker and safety, respectively, and the Vikings held Carson Palmer to a season-low 94 yards passing.

He threw a second-quarter touchdown pass to Chad Ochocinco, but it didn't bring a hint of celebration from the flamboyant, oft-fined Pro Bowl player -- or do much to get the Bengals in the game.

"Awesome," Ochocinco said, assessing Minnesota's defense. "I can only speak from the secondary's standpoint, but Cedric Griffin, Antoine Winfield, Madieu Williams -- they did a hell of a job."

Ochocinco finished with three catches for 27 yards, and Winfield -- who missed the past six games with a foot injury -- was all over the field. Ryan Longwell kicked three first-half field goals, the last with 4 seconds left after Winfield tackled Brian Leonard in the flat and forced a critical fumble.

The Vikings got the ball to start the second half, too, and the game-defining drive was all Peterson. He dived over the pile on third-and-1 for the touchdown midway through the third quarter.

"We weren't thinking that was a turning point in the game at the time, but looking back that was a tough couple minutes," Palmer said.

After a humbling defeat last week, dominated in all facets by the Cardinals, Minnesota faced a crossroad here against Cincinnati, which beat the three other NFC North teams this season behind a combined 440 yards rushing from the Chicago castoff Benson.

Migraines kept standout rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin out, robbing Favre of his trusty third-down target. But against the league's top defense in that category, the Vikings converted eight of 14 opportunities. They also hung a season-high total on the NFL's stingiest scoring defense.

"I don't think I'm falling apart in December like most people seem to think," Favre said. "So I feel fine. I don't feel much different than most guys in that locker room at this stage of the season."

Chester Taylor chipped in, too, with 57 total yards. The Bengals, missing stout defensive tackle Domata Peko for the second week in a row, saw their team-record streak of eight straight games holding the other team under 100 yards rushing end. Safety Chris Crocker hurt his ankle in the first quarter and didn't return, and cornerback Johnathan Joseph was hurt in the third.

A banged-up Vikings offensive line handled a physical, trash-talking Bengals front.

"It just kind of motivated everybody, starting with the offensive line," left tackle Bryant McKinnie said. "I don't know if they were trying for an intimidation factor or not, but we got it going."

Game notes


The Bengals hadn't played at the Metrodome, now officially called Mall of America Field, since 1998. This was their first loss to an NFC North opponent under coach Marvin Lewis after seven straight wins. ... With Benson falling just short, Minnesota's streak without allowing a 100-yard rusher reached 36 straight games, the longest current run in the league.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CIN
MIN
1st Downs1321
Passing 1st downs
710
Rushing 1st downs
49
1st downs from Penalties
22
3rd down efficiency
6-148-14
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays5369
Total Yards210322
Yards per play4.04.7
Total Drives1012
Passing91180
Comp - Att
16-2817-30
Yards per pass
3.36.0
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks - Yards Lost
1-122-12
Rushing119142
Rushing Attempts
2437
Yards per rush
5.03.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-23-5
Penalties11-859-69
Turnovers11
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession27:4532:15

Passing Leaders

CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Palmer15/25943.8101-12
O'Sullivan1/393.0000-0
MINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Favre17/301926.4112-12

Rushing Leaders

CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Benson16966.0042
Palmer4102.504
MINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Peterson26973.7215
Taylor5255.0017

Receiving Leaders

CINRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Ochocinco3279.01158
Caldwell4256.3077
MINRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Berrian44310.80196
Peterson34013.30285

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERCINMIN
minFG14:28Ryan Longwell 41 Yd 03
minTD08:45Sidney Rice 9 Yd Pass From Brett Favre (Ryan Longwell Kick) 010
cinTD03:56Chad Ochocinco 15 Yd Pass From Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham Kick) 710
minFG00:35Ryan Longwell 23 Yd 713
minFG00:00Ryan Longwell 44 Yd 716
THIRD QUARTERCINMIN
minTD08:40Adrian Peterson 1 Yd Run (Ryan Longwell Kick) 723
FOURTH QUARTERCINMIN
cinFG12:43Shayne Graham 22 Yd 1023
minTD03:24Adrian Peterson 3 Yd Run (Ryan Longwell Kick) 1030