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Morning Bites (12/23): Bengals beat Vikings edition

Taking a look at the stories concerning the Cincinnati Bengals 42-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Andy Lyons

Doc: Bengals naysayers, you can relax now
After the Bengals lost at Pittsburgh last Sunday, the masses were ready to call the season. Those who aren’t fired today, should be cut tomorrow. Everyone else should pack a bag. The pessimism was strange, given the resilient, optimistic way the Bengals have played this year. Maybe it’s a Cincinnati thing, and even those of us who have been here 25 years wouldn’t understand.

Bengals on Red alert with AFC North in the fold
Andrew Whitworth says Andy Dalton is the symbol of his team and on Sunday, Dalton offered another franchise quarterback performance.

Division title is fine, but Bengals want more
Minutes after walking back into their home locker room Sunday afternoon, the Cincinnati Bengals accomplished something scores of other Bengals were unable to achieve.

Bengals defense set tone early
Sprinting down the sidelines after scooping a fumble on the first possession of the game defensive end Carlos Dunlap planned exactly where he'd launch his body into the front row.

PBS: where third downs go to die and playoffs live
The one thing the Bengals know is their down-home defense gets at least one playoff shot in the cozy, unbeaten confines of Paul Brown Stadium.

Andy Dalton's career-day boosts Bengals
CINCINNATI -- Veteran offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth is one of the more thoughtful interview subjects inside the Cincinnati Bengals locker room.

Bengals looked forward to playing Peterson
The Bengals defense knew Adrian Peterson coming off an injury could possibly sit out Sunday's game. They weren't interested in such favors.

Quick hits: Bengals want more than North; Dalton closes in on QB marks
There was no popping of champagne corks when word filtered through the Bengals locker room after Sunday's 42-14 victory over the Vikings that the Bengals were officially in the playoffs.

Vikings-Bengals Postgame Quotes
"It was a big victory for us. Defensively, we did a great job on third down, and it really set a tone throughout today’s play."

Bengals defense right at home in 'Jungle'
"Look, I tell everybody it's hard to win in 'The Jungle,'" the Cincinnati Bengals defensive end said, referring to his stadium's nickname. "It's hard to win because we're like a pack of lions. If you watch the Discovery Channel long enough, you know how lions hunt.

Third down conversions absent for Vikings
Reggie Nelson knew his Bengals defense was good on third down in Sunday's 42-14 beatdown of the Vikings, but he didn't realize that Minnesota was 0-for-9 on third down. 'Is that the first time ever?' Nelson asked.

Rapid Reaction: Cincinnati Bengals
A few thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 42-14 victory against the Minnesota Vikings.

2013 NFL Grades, Week 16: Tony Romo flips the script
Cincy mauled the Vikings in a game they had to win and, maybe, dominate. Andy Dalton was tossing the ball around and the defense was generating points on turnovers. This is the type of game Cincy needed to right the ship.

Tony Romo's heroics set up another Week 17 showdown for Dallas Cowboys
Make no mistake, just making the playoffs again is not enough for Marvin Lewis and his Bengals this season. But Cincinnati did make it a pretty memorable day at home against Minnesota, beating the Vikings 42-12 to pave the way for a three-pack of accomplishment:

Bengals win big; Clinch AFC North with Ravens loss
After blowing out Minnesota 42-12, the Bengals found themselves one Ravens loss away from clinching the AFC North. And they got it.