MINNEAPOLIS -- A few halftime thoughts from the Metrodome:
The Vikings established a cushion on the scoreboard by converting two field goals in the final 38 seconds of the half, the latter after a bizarre stretch of game management from the Bengals. I have no idea why Bengals coach Marvin Lewis didn’t use one of his two timeouts during his team’s final possession, but it cost his team.
Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield continued celebrating his return by upending Bengals running back Brian Leonard and forcing a fumble with 4 seconds remaining. Linebacker Chad Greenway recovered at the Bengals’ 26-yard line to give Ryan Longwell a 44-yard field goal opportunity.
Unofficially, Winfield has four solo tackles in his first game in nearly two months. He also dropped a sure interception in the second quarter, but had the Metrodome crowd on its feet after he dropped to the ground to do pushups in mock punishment.
We’re on pace for more penalties than we saw in Monday night’s game at Lambeau Field (23). Cincinnati had eight in the first half and Minnesota had five. That puts us on pace for 26 penalties if my Black and Blue math is accurate.
The Bengals have 56 yards rushing against Minnesota’s E.J. Henderson-less defense. For what it’s worth, it looks like outside linebacker Ben Leber is calling the defensive signals -- not rookie linebacker Jasper Brinkley.
Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre made a slick play to buy time on a 9-yard touchdown pass to receiver Sidney Rice. But overall, this has not been one of Favre’s sharpest games. He’s thrown one interception and had another dropped. Overall, he’s completed 11 of 20 passes for 118 yards.
Favre’s biggest gainers have been short passes to tailback Adrian Peterson, who has three receptions for 40 yards. Peterson has 57 relatively quiet rushing yards.