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Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals: First Quarter Open Thread

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports


Date: 22 December 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium
DirecTV Ch 710
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 225 (CIN)
Sirius Ch 138
TV Announcers: Dick Stockton
Ronde Barber
Know Thy Foe: Cincy Jungle
Line: Cincinnati -8.5, O/U 8 (thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Bengals 31, Vikings 24
Final Score:

Here are the ground rules for the Game Threads:

-Thou shalt not link illegal feeds of today's game, or I shall kick thy arse to the curb until the game is over. Do not promote then, do not mention them, do not even hint at them. Thou hast been warned.

-Thou shalt make an attempt to keep the swearing to a minimum. Understandable that it will slip occasionally, but do try to limit it. If you really feel the need to curse, use the spoiler tags to keep it covered up. We'll get the sentiment.

-Thou shalt not feed the trolls. Rather, thou shall simply point them out, and they shall be banished to the fires of Mordor. Or Wisconsin. Whichever we feel is more harsh at the time.

-Thou shalt not engage in racist, sexist, or other such insulting rhetoric. Somebody disagreeing with you does not make them racist or sexist. It means they disagree with you. Talk it out like adults.

-Thou shalt not bait the fans of other teams into trolling.

-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

It's the last road game of 2013, and the Minnesota Vikings (who have yet to win on the road this season) will do battle with the Cincinnati Bengals (who have yet to lose at home this season). What do the Vikings have to do to avoid being winless away from the Metrodome this season?

1) Play with pride - This team doesn't want to go 0-for-8 on the road this season, and they want to continue to play spoiler like they did against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. The Bengals still have a lot to play for and are a better team than the Vikings, but if the Vikings don't go out and mail it in, they can pull this one out.

2) Win up front - Brian Robison and Jared Allen both have nine sacks for the Vikings, while the Bengals have a number of solid pass rushers, including the returning Carlos Dunlap. Matt Cassel and Andy Dalton are both among the least-sacked quarterbacks in the NFL. If the Vikings can get to Dalton while keeping Cassel upright, it will go a long way towards their success in this afternoon's game.

3) Run the football - The Vikings should have both Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart back for this one, though it doesn't appear that Peterson is going to be 100%. With the Bengals having a good pass rush, the Vikings need to put themselves into manageable situations on second and third downs so the Cincinnati pass rush can't pin their ears back and come after Cassel. Getting Peterson and Gerhart into a rhythm early against the Bengals' defense will make that much more likely.

Yours truly will be listening to this one on the radio while we're on the road, but there will still be an Open Thread every quarter, just as there's always been. Enjoy the game, ladies and gentlemen, and here's hoping the Vikings can pull this one out.