Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
A matchup with the Minnesota Vikings could not have come at a better time for the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Vikings are 4-10-1 for a reason. They were out-gained 429-209 and posted an impressive 0-of-9 mark on third down. Perhaps worst of all, they failed to eclipse 100 passing yards.
This is exactly what the doctor ordered for Cincinnati. Andy Dalton looked crisp, Jay Gruden appeared to have a great plan and the defense took advantage of a miserable opponent to stay sharp.
But now things get tough.
Baltimore makes the trip to Paul Brown Stadium in Week 17 for a game that will be a typical AFC North battle. The Ravens already beat the Bengals in Week 10 via a 20-17 overtime final.
Like fans saw last week, the Bengals have a tendency to crumble in important games. Hopefully the young team got it out of their system in Week 15 with the loss to Pittsburgh, using Minnesota as a stepping stone to one of their biggest games of the season.