3 things we loved (and 2 things we hated) from Bengals' Week 15 win vs. Vikings

Too many injuries but a win is a win!
Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals moved to 8-6 with an overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings and it certainly wasn't a pretty win by any means. But as the saying goes, "A win is a win".

With another win in the record books, let's check out three things that fans should have loved about this game and two that they should have hated.

All stats courtesy of ESPN

Loved: Tee Higgins' TD

Overtime wouldn't have been possible and a win sure as heck wouldn't have been possible without Tee Higgins' heroics in the final minute of regulation. The Bengals were facing third and long when Jake Browning targeted Higgins down the field. Higgins somehow caught the ball and knew he was going to be short of the goal line, so he stretched his arm out to get the ball over the pylon.

That led to a touchdown and Evan McPherson tied it up seconds later, forcing overtime. Without this play from Higgins, a victory doesn't happen.

Hated: All of the injuries

In the first quarter alone, the Bengals saw both D.J. Reader and D.J. Ivey carted off the field. Reader's absence was felt in the run game (more on that later) and unfortunately, it doesn't look good for him to come back this season.

Ian Rapoport reported that Reader suffered a torn quad tendon and will miss the rest of the season. This sucks even more for Reader when you consider that he is set to hit free agency in March. This will hurt his stock in the spring, which is so unfortunate for Reader because he was set to make a lot of money this offseason.

Other injuries that arose in the game were to Alex Cappa, Ja'Marr Chase, and Ted Karras. Chase didn't re-enter the game after suffering an injury to his right shoulder.

Loved: Fighting after falling behind 17-3

The Bengals had the lead at the beginning of the game when they kicked a field goal to go ahead 3-0. That was the last time they led until McPherson kicked the game-winner. It didn't look promising when Cincinnati fell behind 17-3 in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the offense came to life, scoring three touchdowns including the aforementioned Higgins touchdown. This is even more impressive when you consider that Chase was absent for the final few drives. Jake Browning had a rough start to the game but got things rolling in the second half.

Hated: Run defense's performance

The Vikings probably could have ran the ball on every single play and the Bengals still wouldn't have been able to stop them. They finished the day with 30 carries for 143 yards and one touchdown while averaging 4.8 yards per carry. This was done without Alexander Mattison.

Ty Chandler had 23 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Pretty much anytime Chandler touched the ball, he was popping off a big play. The Bengals had no answer for stopping him.

The run defense has performed poorly this entire season but they looked better last week. That clearly was just a one-time thing though, as they looked rough on Saturday afternoon.

Loved: Playoffs are a realistic possibility

Okay so I know the Bengals still have a lot of work to do to make it into the postseason. They have just three conference wins on the year with six losses.

The good news, however, is that they have three remaining games and all three are against AFC teams and playoff contenders. The Bengals have a chance to even the score against the Steelers and Browns and get a potential tiebreaker against the Chiefs (yes, the Chiefs not winning their division is still a possibility, somehow).

The more wins, the better when it comes to making the playoffs and as long as the Bengals keep winning, a playoff berth is entirely possible. This did not look like a game that Cincinnati was going to win and they proved that even when they're down, don't count 'em out.


Next. Starters Not Back. 6 Bengals Starters Who Won't Be Back in 2024. dark