The Bengals have a few things left to play for this year. The most immediate one is playing the spoiler.
The Bengals have three games left, and all of them seem to be in the playoff race. The Vikings are (10-3), but they are trying to move up into the one seed held by the Eagles who are only a game ahead of them. The Vikings are also trying to hold off the Rams, Saints and Panthers who are all 9-4 and breathing down their neck.
If the Bengals upset the Vikings at home that could be the difference between them having home field advantage throughout the playoffs or having to play in the Wild Card round.
The Bengals also have jobs to play for. There is no doubt everyone in that building knows that change is on the way. These guys need to put on film that they need to be here next season, and young guys need to prove they are worth giving bigger roles.
The last thing this team has to play for is pride. This could very well be the last time we see most of these players in a Bengals’ uniform.
Also, this should be the ending of one of the better coaching eras for the Bengals. It doesn’t compete with the teams who went to the Super Bowls, but at least the Bengals were a competitive team more times than not under Marvin Lewis.
For now, we should just enjoy these last few games. Lewis probably isn’t coming back, so we don’t have to keep harping or complaining about that.
Just relish the fact that if this team wins they will have put another team’s season into turmoil, and if they lose, then the Bengals are on the road to a better draft pick.
How to watch the Bengals as they visit the Vikings
Game: Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) at Minnesota Vikings (10-3)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 17th, 2017 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Series Leader: The series is tied 6-6
Streak: Bengals have won two of the last three games
Coaches vs Opponent: Marvin Lewis (2-1), Mike Zimmer (0-0)
TV Broadcast: CBS broadcast with Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline reporter). The game will air in the Bengals home market on WKRC-TV (Channel 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Channel 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Channel 27) in Lexington, Ky.
Radio Broadcast: Coverage on the Bengals Radio Network, led by a “triple-cast” on Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst). The game will also be aired to a national audience on affiliates of Sports USA. Broadcasters are Josh Appel (play-by-play) and Hank Bauer (analyst).
Online Streaming: Watch the live stream on the NFL's mobile app. International viewers can use NFL Game Pass.
Vikings’ SB Nation Website: Daily Norseman
Weather: Inside a dome; Mostly cloudy outside [NFL Weather]
Odds: The Bengals open as 10-point underdogs [Vegas Insider]
Uniforms: White jersey with white pants; the Bengals are 19-28 in that combination since 2004.