Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Halftime report: Bengals 28, Vikings 7

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings Updated: December 22, 2013 - 1:35 PM

The Bengals have 28-7 halftime lead over the Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium. Linebacker Audie Cole (leg) is questionable to return.

The good: Greg Jennings hasn’t been the only wide receiver to benefit from quarterback Matt Cassel. Second-year wideout Jarius Wright scored on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Cassel in the first quarter to produce the only scoring drive for the Vikings.

It’s Wright’s third touchdown catch this season. It’s his only reception in the game however. He’s had four or more receptions in two of the last three games entering this contest.

Linebacker Erin Henderson has also played well, particularly fitting the run, filling in at middle linebacker for Cole. Henderson has a game-high seven tackles.

The bad: Cassel, on the other hand, has been anything but good. He has three turnovers in the first half. He fumbled on the opening drive that resulted in a four-yard touchdown run by Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Cassel also threw an interception to linebacker Vincent Rey returned 25 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Cassel is 5 of 14 for 52 yards, with 36 yards coming on Wright’s touchdown catch.

The Vikings have just three first downs. The Bengals have scored four touchdowns.

The ugly: Back from a knee injury that held him out last week, cornerback Chris Cook didn’t even start. Rather, Frazier went with Shaun Prater, who was injured his ankle and forced the Vikings to use Cook.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has picked on Cook since Prater’s injury and connected with wide receiver A.J. Green for a 29-yard touchdown. Cook beat on Green first move off the line of scrimmage to create separation for Green.

Prater did return in the second quarter, which has limited Cook's snaps once again.

Dalton is 14 of 24 for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Green has two catches for 46 yards. 


Kansas City - J. Vargas 5:10 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Toronto - A. Sanchez 5:10 PM
Boston - J. Kelly
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:05 PM
Baltimore - U. Jimenez
Tampa Bay - N. Karns 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - A. Warren
Washington - D. Fister 6:10 PM
Atlanta - E. Stults
NY Mets - D. Gee 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
Milwaukee - J. Nelson 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - J. Marquis
Pittsburgh - V. Worley 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Hammel
Seattle - T. Walker 7:05 PM
Texas - Y. Gallardo
Detroit - D. Price 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. Milone
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 7:15 PM
St. Louis - J. Lackey
Colorado - T. Matzek 8:40 PM
Arizona - C. Anderson
Houston - C. McHugh 9:10 PM
San Diego - J. Shields
San Francisco - T. Lincecum 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - B. Anderson
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Memphis 9:30 PM
Tampa Bay 6:00 PM
NY Islanders 6:30 PM
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