MINNEAPOLIS -- For the second consecutive season, Minnesota is in the playoffs.
That’s the bottom line after Sunday’s action in the NFC North, which included the Vikings’ convincing victory over Cincinnati. Minnesota never trailed in the process of handing the Bengals their first loss to a North team -- NFC or AFC -- this season.
Green Bay’s victory at Soldier Field prevented the Vikings from clinching the NFC North, but at 11-2 they secured at least an NFC wild-card berth. Their magic number to win the division is now 1, meaning they can clinch next Sunday with a victory at Carolina or a Packers loss at Pittsburgh.
The Vikings haven’t won more than 10 games in a season since 2000.
We’ll have plenty more about the Vikings’ dismantling of the Bengals in a few hours. I thought it was one of their best defensive performances of the season, especially after getting steamrolled in Arizona last week. The return of cornerback Antoine Winfield (nine solo tackles) made a huge difference. Meanwhile, tailback Adrian Peterson set a franchise record with his 13th and 14th rushing touchdowns of the season.
Back with you a in a bit.