Posted: 7:15 a.m.
MINNEAPOLIS - The Bengals' best in the NFL scoring defense didn't get much help from its offense against the Vikings' second best in the NFL scoring offense in Sunday's 30-10 loss and the results were predictable.
But the defense did falter in some categories it has dominated this season. The Bengals defense came in leading the NFL in third-down percentage at 32 percent, but they gave up 8 out of 14 including a big one to running back Chester Taylor out of the backfield on a 26-yard pass on third-and-12 on the first series of the second half that led to the 23-7 lead.
The Bengals have been doing a good job covering backs out of the backfield this season, but even though the Vikings rushed for the second most yards against Cincinnati this season with 142, they hurt them more in the receiving game.
With rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin sidelined with headaches, the Vikings used some of his plays running out of the backfield with the backs. Taylor caught two balls for 32 yards and Adrian Peterson added 40 yards on three catches, including a huge 28-yarder on second-and-20 that led to Minnesota's first touchdown.
"I was lined up man-to-man. I didn't do enough of a good job taking care of that," said middle linebacker Dhani Jones. "There's a reason Adrian Peterson is the guy that he is. You have to take care of him and then things begin falling into place, and we didn't take care of him."
The defense also fell prey to the penalty bug, the biggest probably came after the two-minute warning of the first half and the Bengals trying to get into the second half down just 10-7.
On second and nine from the Bengals 46, Jones dumped Taylor for a two-yard loss. But defensive tackle Pat Sims was called for a facemask penalty and the Vikes took advantage of that to score two field goals in the last 38 seconds to make it 16-7.
"It was the right call," Sims said. "That's football. It wasn't intentional. You win some, you lose some."
The Bengals did a nice job on wide receiver Sidney Rice, although he did score one red-zone touchdown. But they never let Vikings quarterback Brett Favre go deep. In fact, his longest completion was the 28-yarder to Peterson.