Vikings clinch NFC North with emphatic 34-7 win over Bengals

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With the recent news that Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis will be leaving the team to pursue other opportunities at the end of the season, the AFC North franchise will have to search for a replacement.

The Vikings played their worst game in two months on Sunday in Carolina, and still managed to find themselves tied late in the fourth quarter against a tough team in a hostile environment. Overall, he has gone 123-111 during his time with the Bengals, losing all seven of his playoff games.

Teddy Bridgewater made a cross sign, exchanged handshakes with several teammates and stepped into a game for the first time since August 28, 2016, to roars so loud the quarterback had to cup his hands over his ears to hear the play call in his helmet. Dalton and the offense produced these four possessions in the first quarter: three-and-out, interception, turnover on downs and three-and-out. They'll face one of the best teams in the National Football League this Sunday. Last season, the Browns went just 1-15.

The Bengals' minds looked to be anywhere but U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, and it's not surprising.

Yes, Minnesota totaled 100 yards on 21 carries in Carolina, but quarterback Case Keenum accounted for 40 of those yards on five scrambles. That set up a short touchdown run by Giovani Bernard to keep the Bengals from being shut out for a second time this year.

The Vikings have averaged 132.2 rushing yards per game and allowed an average of 60.7 rushing yards per game this season. The Bengals lost S George Iloka (shoulder), LT Cedric Ogbuehi (shoulder) and LB Vincent Rey (jaw) during the game to injuries.

Lewis became the Bengals' ninth head coach on January 14, 2003, and the team finished that season 8-8 - a six-game improvement over the prior year. This will be Zimmer's first regular-season meeting against Cincinnati as a head coach.