Kicking the game off with a report that head coach Marvin Lewis isn't coming back for a 16 season, his offense went almost on track for its worst performance in his 15 seasons when the Bengals fell behind the Vikings, 24-0, in the game's first 25 minutes generating all of 35 yards, a first down, three sacks and five three-and-outs on seven possessions for that very ugly 24-0 half-time deficit.
The Vikings played their worst game in two months on Sunday in Carolina, and still managed to find themselves tied late in the fourth quarter against a tough team in a hostile environment. The Bengals fell 33-7 at home to Chicago last weekend and are in third place in the NFC North.
Brian Robison had two of the Vikings' three sacks and Eric Kendricks returned a first-quarter interception for a touchdown. They will head to Green Bay on Saturday to face a Packers team that might not have much to play for after losing at Carolina in Aaron Rodgers' return, and they'll finish the regular season at home against Chicago on December 30.
The Bengals' minds looked to be anywhere but U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, and it's not surprising.
The Vikings had some negative runs that created unfavorable down-and-distance situations, and falling behind forced Minnesota to rely more heavily on the passing game in the second half. Vikings LT Riley Reiff missed his first game of the season with an ankle injury.
The Bengals have averaged 79.4 rushing yards per game this season.
Bridgewater's second pass of the day was dropped by Michael Floyd, and the quarterback finished with a passer rating of 0.0.
For the first time in 15 years, the Bengals are going to have to conduct a coaching search, which is always an adventure in Cincinnati and that's mainly because of the way the team's ownership is structured under Mike Brown. This will be Zimmer's first regular-season meeting against Cincinnati as a head coach.