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(Sunday, December 13th)
Final Score: Minnesota 30, Cincinnati 10
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Adrian Peterson racked up 137 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns as Minnesota clinched a playoff spot with a 30-10 win over Cincinnati at the Metrodome.
Peterson rushed for 97 yards and the two scores while posting three receptions for 40 yards in Minnesota's victory, the first time since 2000 it has won at least 11 games.
"We came out and we knew it was going to be a physical game," Peterson said. "We wanted to establish the run early, hit it with them along with play-action and we were able to do what we wanted from the start."
Brett Favre threw for 192 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-30 passes for the Vikings (11-2), who bounced back from a 13-point loss at Arizona last week.
Carson Palmer completed 15-of-25 passes for just 94 yards for the Bengals (9-4), who lost for just the second time in seven contests. Chad Ochocinco had three catches for 27 yards and Cincy's lone touchdown, and Cedric Benson rushed for 96 yards on 16 carries in the setback.
Peterson's one-yard plunge sent the Vikings up 23-7 with less than seven minutes played in the third quarter, but the Bengals couldn't equalize until the early stages of the fourth as Shayne Graham hit from 22 yards out.
Minnesota put the cap on the victory when Peterson finished an 11-play, 67- yard drive by scoring from the three with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Longwell's 41-yard field goal gave the Vikes a lead early in the second quarter, capping a drive which began late in the first and saw a Sidney Rice touchdown catch nullified because Favre was ruled to have passed the line of scrimmage on the throw.
Favre, though, hit Rice with 8:45 left in the half on a nine-yard score and Minnesota led 10-0.
Cincinnati responded on the following drive as Ochocinco hauled in a 15-yard pass from Palmer for a 10-7 game with under four minutes left in the second.
Longwell connected from 23 yards out with 35 seconds to play and Minnesota led 13-7, then following a Vikings fumble recovery, Longwell drilled a 44-yarder as time expired in the half.
"We needed to send a message early, our success depended on good starts out of the gate, to be able to manage the game on our terms," Benson said. "All credit to them for taking it to us and executing better in all phases."
Rice ended with four receptions for 39 yards...The Vikings played without utilityman Percy Harvin, forced from the lineup by a recurrence of migraines...Bengals safety Chris Crocker left late in the first half with an unknown knee problem and did not return.
12/13 18:28:05 ET