Vikings clinch NFC North with emphatic 34-7 win over Bengals

Dec 10 2017 Cincinnati OH USA Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis watches from the sideline against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

According to the report, Lewis is "likely to be on teams' short lists of candidates" ahead of a number of head-coaching openings, one of which has already become apparent after the firing of Giants coach Ben McAdoo. That stretch included five straight losses in the Wild Card round.

The 59-year-old Lewis, with 15 years in Cincinnati, is the longest tenured head coach in Bengals history. That would seem to indicate that he's the only one who is ready to move on, despite a 5-8 record going into Sunday that has led to reports he is on the hot seat with a frugal team that does not make coaching changes easily.

The Vikings return home Sunday for a noon (CT) matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals as Minnesota once again tries to clinch the NFC North. The Bengals nearly never go outside the organization to make a hire, which is why it will be interesting to watch their coaching search take place. However, several things would need to happen. Considering the Bengals face playoff contenders the rest of the way it's unlikely to happen. They'll face one of the best teams in the National Football League this Sunday. Safety Shaun Williams intercepted the pass and returned it to the Vikings' 23, marking the first time the Bengals had advanced past the Vikings' 43 all day, and Giovani Bernard's two-yard TD run put Cincinnati on the board. Coached by a man well acquainted with the Bengals defense.

The Bengals' minds looked to be anywhere but U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, and it's not surprising.

- Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has 13 sacks this season, which is a career high for the former fourth-round pick.

Even if the team finds a way to win their last two games, there's no salvaging this season. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. E.T.

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