Vikings vanquish Bengals
MINNEAPOLIS -- Adrian Peterson ran as if he was angry about his recent struggles, and the Minnesota Vikings rode his resurgence to an important victory.
Peterson had 97 yards and two touchdowns on 26 rushes without a turnover, pushing the Vikings past the mistake-prone Cincinnati Bengals, 30-10, on Sunday.
Peterson added 40 yards receiving and set a single-season team record with 14 rushing touchdowns, moving Minnesota (11-2) within one more win of a second straight NFC North title.
Brett Favre wasn't great, completing 17 of 30 passes for 192 yards, one touchdown and an interception, but the defense responded to middle linebacker E.J. Henderson's devastating injury with an inspired effort while welcoming cornerback Antoine Winfield back.
Carson Palmer was 15 for 25 for a season-low 94 yards and one touchdown, and Cedric Benson's 16 carries for 96 yards gave him his first 1,000-yard season but left Cincinnati short of 100 for the first time in a month.
The Bengals (9-4) committed 11 penalties for 85 yards, failing in their first chance to clinch the AFC North. They face another tough road game next week with San Diego. The league's stingiest defense in scoring and third downs gave up a season-high 30 points and let the Vikings convert eight of 14 third downs.
» Ravens 48, Lions 3 -- In Baltimore, Ray Rice ran for a career-high 166 yards and a touchdown, and the Ravens enhanced their playoff hopes with a victory on a cold, rainy day.
Baltimore (7-6) built a 20-3 halftime lead behind the play of Rice, who had 155 yards rushing on only nine carries and four catches for 53 yards. His 59-yard touchdown run made it 17-3, and the Ravens cruised to the finish in handing the hapless Lions (2-11) their 19th straight road loss.
Rice was pulled early in second half, and his backups continued the assault. Le'Ron McClain scored from the 3 and Willis McGahee added touchdown runs of 6 and 19 yards to make it 41-3 entering the fourth quarter.
Backup quarterback Troy Smith ran in from the 15 with 5:02 left to cap the rout.
The five rushing TDs was a single-game record for the Ravens, who finished with a team-record 548 yards and ruined the homecoming of Detroit coach Jim Schwartz, a Baltimore native. The 48 points tied a team mark, set in 2005 against Green Bay.
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