The Bengals are headed to the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
In a performance highlighted by strong play by the Bengals’ offense and defense, Cincinnati defeated Minnesota 42-14 on Sunday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals’ win, coupled with the Dolphins’ loss to Buffalo, puts Cincinnati in the postseason. The Dolphins’ defeat also clinched the AFC East for New England.
Cincinnati (10-5) would win the AFC North with a Baltimore loss to New England later this afternoon.
In victory, quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 366 yards and four touchdowns, with a pair of scoring passes going to star wideout A.J. Green (seven catches, 97 yards). The Bengals outgained the Vikings 429-209 and possessed the ball for nearly two-thirds of regulation.
The Vikings, who had played well recently, struggled throughout. Quarterback Matt Cassel completed just 13-of-27 passes for 114 yards with one TD and three picks. He also lost a fumble. Star tailback Adrian Peterson had a quiet day, rushing for 45 yards on 11 carries.
Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey had a big game, forcing the Cassel fumble to set up a first-quarter Cincinnati touchdown and intercepting Cassel for a score in the second quarter.
The Bengals came out of the win with some injuries, with outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (head), right tackle Andre Smith (ankle) and tight end Tyler Eifert (stinger) all hurt.